The financial website Wallet Hub reported this week that Montana is ranked the fourth safest state during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said a number of factors went into that determination of Montana’s safe ranking.

“Montana is one of the safer spots to be during COVID at least for right now,” said Gonzalez. “It actually ranked the fourth safest, and that's being looked at by a few different metrics, actually five in all, including the rates of COVID-19 and transmission, positive testing, and hospitalizations, and so right now Montana has the fourth best rate across the board.”

Gonzalez said the rate of hospitalization across Montana compared to the rest of the country was exceptionally low.

“One of the best results was just in terms of one of the lowest hospitalization rates, where it went in the top 10,” she said. “It did very well with a fifth lowest death rate out of all the states. It's about middle of the pack for transmission rates and vaccination rates.”

When it comes to vaccination rates, there isn’t enough data due to the fact that the vaccinations are in the beginning stages.

“So right now, Montana ranks 21st for its vaccination rates, which is a little bit above average,” she said, “Again, Montana’s  death rate is all the way down at five. So right now it's hard to see a real correlation between the vaccination rates and the death rates just because you have a state like Montana, which is very rural, which maybe slower to get its vaccines out. So I think that's what we're going to see more and more once we get a real hang of getting vaccinations thoroughly distributed.”

Gonzalez compared Montana to the best and worst states insofar as COVID safety is concerned.

“You could get 100%, and Alaska, the state that's the safest right now, has a score of 95%,” she said. “Montana is three spots down with a score of 70%. Arizona right now has a score of only 8%, so obviously a very large discrepancy between the states that are really doing well right now.”

Gonzalez said the key to recovery for all states is vaccination.

“The best way to help state economies is to get most people in each state vaccinated, which in turn will create a much safer environment and allow businesses to operate at normal capacity and hire in full force.”


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