Health Care & Wellness
What are States’ Policy Options to Slow the Spread of COVID-19?
July 7, 2020 | Bill Kramer
States have shifted the focus of their COVID-19 response from managing the public health crisis to the economic recovery phase. States have started allowing certain businesses to open, and most have announced plans for a phased reopening of the economy. Since each state’s degree of “openness” is determined by many factors, and because each state handled pandemic response differently, MultiState has developed a guide to condense these factors into one easy-to-understand “openness score” that allows you to compare states to one another. States are evaluated based on 11 factors, and the data behind this guide is updated daily.
Last Updated August 13, 2020
To monitor the state and local government response to the coronavirus, MultiState created a COVID-19 State and Local Policy Dashboard in early March that provides a quick and easy reference to updates and information issued by state and key local agencies and policymakers. But after a government-mandated shutdown of many businesses across the country, governors are now focused on “reopening” the economy.
MultiState's COVID-19 State Reopening Guide provides a numerical rating of each state’s degree of “openness” — in other words, how open for business is each state now that states have begun shifting their focus to economic recovery? Each state’s rating is calculated based on a daily grading of eleven key factors. The map and chart below indicate current ratings, and the matrix and methodology section dives into the details.
Once a state decides its public health crisis has abated sufficiently to begin easing restrictions, the reopening process in each state is unique but generally resembles a reversal of the initial order of shutdowns we witnessed on a rapid basis in mid-March. This phased-in approach will take much longer than the initial shutdown and could still potentially reverse if a COVID-19 outbreak reemerges.
We frame the reopening question as “how open for business is each state?” instead of "how robust is each state's reopening plan" because states are starting from different positions. A handful of states never issued stay-at-home orders at all, while all states mandated at least some business closings on a sliding scale of strictness during the pandemic.
Once each state is evaluated based on the eleven factors described in the methodology, the factors are then condensed into each state’s “openness score.” The openness ratings range “most open,” indicating the state is fully open beyond standard social distancing guidelines (the highest possible score is 100) to “least open,” indicating the state is in full lockdown to (a score of 0). Each state’s grading is updated daily by our team of analysts.
If you’d like to learn more about how we assessed each state, in-depth data on each of the eleven factors that went into each state’s score, or source materials, please contact us for premium access. There is a wealth of information behind each state’s score, and we can customize additional data, reporting, and analysis to meet any needs. MultiState is able to track, report, and provide custom research and analysis for specific industries to help you navigate the reopening process in all 50 states.
Click the image below for a snapshot of the data behind each state ranking (grades for each state factor are color-coded, with green closer to “open” on the openness spectrum and red closer to “closed”).
States were evaluated based on eleven factors:
Each of these eleven factors is given a rating (red, orange, yellow, green) based on how open the state is for each factor. These ratings are then run through a weighted formula to produce a score from 0 to 100.
July 7, 2020 | Bill Kramer
June 1, 2020 | Ryan Maness
May 14, 2020 | Lauren Doroghazi