California is most restrictive state when it comes to coronavirus rules, report shows

Brooke Wolford

California is the nation’s most populated state with the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., but experts say its situation could be far worse had the state not moved quickly to put measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, reports show.

And no state has put more coronavirus restrictions in place than California, according to WalletHub. The personal finance website ranked each state and the District of Columbia by evaluating 18 key factors to determine which had the fewest coronavirus restrictions.

Coming in at No. 51 with the most coronavirus restrictions is California, according to WalletHub.

California is home to 39.7 million people, according to the World Population Review. Active coronavirus cases have surged in recent weeks, bringing the state’s total to 282,447, the New York Times reported.

The resurgence of COVID-19 has forced six states — California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan — to roll back their reopenings, according to the Christian Science Monitor. California was the nation’s the first state to put restrictions in place on March 19 the Monitor reported.

Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, believes the state’s recent surge has to do with Californians’ “cavalier and careless” attitudes that followed the reopening of some non-essential businesses, according to the Monitor.

“Yes, we’re having a surge, but there will be fewer people that die here per capita than in states that have been less responsible,” Wachter told the Monitor.

‘Wear a Mask’ campaign

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered counties to roll back reopenings and implemented more stay-at-home measures, according to KTLA. The California coronavirus resource website shows the statewide stay-home order was updated Monday.

“All individuals living in the State of California are currently ordered to stay home or at their place of residence, except for permitted work, local shopping or other permitted errands, or as otherwise authorized,” the website says.

On July 2, Gov. Newsom launched the “Wear a Mask” campaign encouraging Californians to use face coverings anytime they’re in public, according to a release on the state’s COVID-19 resource website. Newsom warned local officials if they do not enforce social distancing and mask mandates, they will face state sanctions, KTVU reported.

“Our enforcement has been prioritized on parts of the state where we have known violaters; where we have high-risk workplaces; where we have industries that should be operating at a scale, think restaurants and bars, in an appropriate and safe manner,” Newsom said during a news briefing on Monday, according to KTVU.

WalletHub rankings

WalletHub ranked states based on a point system where states were given between zero and one point depending on how restrictive measures are now and in the past.

The less restrictive a state’s measures, the more points it was given, according to WalletHub.

Some factors used to rank states included face-covering mandates, travel restrictions, reopening of non-essential businesses, etc., WalletHub said. The least restrictive state, South Dakota, received a score of 86.95, while California had the lowest score at 19.04, just ahead of Colorado and Hawaii.

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