By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming is off-track when it comes to roadway safety and mental health services, a recent National Safety Council summary concluded.
In the NSC’s state of the response executive summary, the organization analyzed how well the 50 states protected their citizens during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The report assessed state efforts in five key areas: employer guidelines, testing, contact tracing, mental health and substance use and roadway safety.
Wyoming was considered one of the 10 off-track states, which also included Florida, South Dakota, Montana, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Mississippi and South Dakota received the lowest overall rating.
Wyoming also was singled out as being off-track when it came to roadway safety (alongside Montana, both of the Dakotas and Massachusetts) and for addressing mental health issues (alongside other states such as South Dakota, Alabama, South Carolina and Kansas).
Only 12 states received an “on-track” rating, which included California, Oregon, Washington and Illinois. The other 29 states were considered “lagging.”
Although the pandemic has claimed more lives than accidental drug overdoses, motor vehicle collisions and falls combined, the state of response report uncovered “an inconsistent approach that has jeopardized safety due to the pandemic’s impact on issues such as addiction, traffic and workplace safety.
The NSC provided recommendations for states to improve their scores, such as ensuring access to medically-necessary treatments, including the availability of behavioral health services and substance use disorder treatment through telehealth and continuing focus on improving the safety of roads.