The benefits of cracking down early and hard against COVID-19 are becoming even more clear.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, some states — mainly those in the northeast experiencing early case surges — decided to implement tough lockdown measures and mask mandates to control their spreads. And on the whole, they're avoiding recent major outbreaks seen in states that didn't take as much action, a New York Times analysis of Oxford's COVID-19 government response tracker shows.
New York saw one of the earliest and worst spikes in COVID-19 cases back in the spring, and implemented lockdowns, mandatory quarantines, and other measures to stop the spread. It curbed its outbreak before the summer, and while cases are on the rise again, New York is shutting down schools and businesses as positivity rates remain in the single digits.
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In contrast, many Midwestern states implemented barely any containment measures throughout the spring and summer — North Dakota and Iowa only just implemented a mask mandate a few days ago, and South Dakota still hasn't. As of Nov. 16, North Dakota has seen an average of 175 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the state, while South Dakota has seen about 65 people hospitalized for every 100,000.
Compare every state's coronavirus measures with its case counts and hospitalizations at The New York Times.
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