By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Personal finance website WalletHub ranked Wyoming as 51st among the states and Washington, D.C., for aggressive measures taken to slow the spread of coronavirus.
However, a large part of that ranking is based on economic factors, such as the number of Wyoming residents employed in the hospitality industry, and restrictions imposed by the state on its businesses.
WalletHub said its rankings are based on three elements: prevention and containment, risk factors and infrastructure and economic impact of the illness.
Wyoming ranked 49th for prevention and containment, which was measured using items such as whether the state took action to ban large gatherings, restrict travel, activate the National Guard, close schools or recommend statewide curfews.
Gov. Mark Gordon has left all closure and restriction decisions in the hands of officials at the local level.
Wyoming did better with the “risk factors and infrastructure” section, placing 21st.
That ranking was determined using items such as the state’s death rate from influenza and pneumonia, the infectious disease incidence rate, the poverty rate, population density, share of uninsured population, hospital beds per capita and the share of elderly population.
In the area of economic impact, Wyoming ranked 48th.
Part of that ranking is determined by how much the hospitality industry contributes to the state’s gross domestic product and the number of employees in the hospitality industry.
The tourism industry is Wyoming’s second largest.
The ranking also takes into account the number of people working for small businesses and whether state legislatures have adopted budget legislation in response to the spread of coronavirus.
Wyoming’s Legislature adjourned before the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the state.
Officials at the state Health Department declined to comment on the ranking.