Editor’s note: All figures for known Coronavirus cases and death counts were current as of 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4.
As stay-at-home orders spread across the U.S. nearly as fast as Coronavirus itself, just nine states refuse to quarantine their residents. Despite a national backlash, the governors balked at calls to issue self-isolation mandates to their people. Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming are the controversial holdouts – for now.
For each of these states, let us examine the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and what percentage of the population that comes out to be. Keep in mind, also, that the actual number of Coronavirus fatalities could be slightly lower than is being claimed, as some deaths are being credited to COVID-19 when, in fact, the virus itself might not be the cause. Inaccurate reporting likely has the mortality rate somewhat skewed; lack of comprehensive testing probably means that far more people are infected than have been confirmed. As a result, the officially reported death rates would be much higher than they are in reality.
Not only has Arkansas not issued a stay-at-home order, but neither has any locality. Governor Asa Hutchinson expressed concern that Arkansans aren’t social distancing and that people are still coming in from out of state. Still, he is reluctant to issue orders and commanding residents to comply. The city of Hot Springs, however, has asked that anyone traveling in from other states for visits to their lake houses quarantine themselves for 14 days. This writer would greatly appreciate folks complying with that request, as he must drive into Hot Springs somewhat regularly to buy groceries!
The Natural State has seen 14 deaths out of 743 confirmed cases. That’s 0.025% of Arkansas’ 3,017,804 residents, with 1.88% of those known to have contracted the virus dying.
Not only has Governor Kim Reynolds refused to issue a stay-at-home order for The Hawkeye State, she also criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci for saying that all 50 states should have such mandates. “I would say that maybe he doesn’t have all the information,” Gov. Reynolds said. “You can’t just look at a map and assume no action has been taken. That is completely false.”
Iowa confirmed 786 cases, which is about 0.025% of the 3,155,070 residents. With 14 deaths, the mortality rate for those known to be ill is 1.78%
The Sooner State just barely belongs on this list. While Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has not yet mandated all residents remain at home, he did establish what he calls a “safer-at-home” order – in effect, a stay-at-home rule that only applies to those older than 65 and anyone with “underlying medical conditions.” Refusing to comply is a misdemeanor criminal offense.
There are 1,159 confirmed cases in Oklahoma, and 42 of the infected – 3.62% – have died. With a total of 3,956,971 in the state, about 0.029% of the population has tested positive.
Governor Pete Rickets of Nebraska says he still isn’t considering a stay-at-home mandate, though he does want people returning from travel abroad to self-quarantine for 14 days. Dr. James Lawler, co-director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Global Center for Health Security and one of the experts advising the governor, says that better compliance with handwashing and distancing recommendations are what Nebraska needs, not an enforced quarantine.
The Cornhusker State has 321 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is about 0.017% of the 1,934,408-person population. Eight – or 2.49% – of those infected have died.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has not yet commanded residents to stay at home and doesn’t intend to, despite an online petition for him to do just that. The petition was filed Friday, April 3, and had gained over 1,100 signatures on the first day. Most Native tribes have ordered members to stay at home. The governor also announced that he plans to hold weekly videos to update the people on the state’s efforts to combat Coronavirus.
The Peace Garden State had 186 people test positive – that’s 0.025% of 762,062 residents – and three deaths (1.61% of confirmed cases).
Charleston, Columbia, and Mount Pleasant – the three largest cities in South Carolina – all have stay-at-home orders in effect, but the state itself doesn’t. Governor Henry McMaster did order the closure of all beaches and nonessential businesses, however. “We are not ordering people to stay at home, but from the very beginning, we’ve been telling people to stay at home,” he said in a press conference. “And a lot of people are staying home.”
South Carolina has 1,917 confirmed cases. With a population of 5,024,369, that comes out to about 0.038%. The mortality rate stands so far, at 2.09%, with 40 deaths.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has resisted growing calls to issue a shelter-in-place order. “I think there’s a lot of misconceptions in South Dakota,” Gov. Noem said in a public briefing Thursday, April 2. “That people think if we put everybody in their house and lock them there for two weeks, then let ‘em out, that the virus will be gone and nobody will get sick, and everything would be perfect.” She does urge social distancing and handwashing but said she would leave it up to local officials to enact regulations.
Gov. Noem deployed the National Guard to help the state address the pandemic by setting up hospitals across the state, beginning in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.
In The Mount Rushmore State, 212 people have tested positive, and two have died. That’s about 0.025% of 833,354 people, with a mortality rate of 0.94%.
The Beehive State has not yet issued a stay-at-home-order, but several localities have. Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Wasatch County, and Davis County are all locked down. The Navajo Nation, which spans part of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, ordered citizens to self-isolate on March 25.
There are 3,205,958 people in Utah and 1,428 confirmed cases of COVID-19, or about 0.045%. Eight have died, giving Coronavirus a maximum mortality rate of 0.56% so far.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced on Monday, March 30, that there was no plan to issue a stay-at-home order anytime soon. If The Equality State does eventually issue such a rule, however, it will be faithful to that nickname and apply to everyone, across the board. “If we’re going to issue a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order, it will not have multiple exemptions,” the governor explained at a news conference. “It will be a true stay-at-home order.”
While the state has stopped short of mandating self-isolation for residents, the governor did announce Friday, April 2, that anyone visiting Wyoming for non-work reasons should quarantine for 14 days. On a more local level, Teton County has issued a stay-at-home order, as have the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes of the Wind River Reservation.
Wyoming had 187 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but no deaths. With a population of 578,759 as of the last count, that’s 0.067%.
The Last of the Math – Promise!
Assuming that the numbers reported by the establishment media are correct, there are 311,148 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 8,467 deaths. With a population of just over 331 million, America has a known infection rate of at least 0.094%. Of those who have tested positive, the overall death rate is 2.72%. The actual number of infected, though, is likely exponentially higher and the mortality rate, therefore, much lower.
These nine states account for 6.79% of the nation’s population but a mere 2.23% of confirmed Coronavirus cases and 1.55% of deaths. California’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 19, yet there have been 12,850 confirmed cases (0.033% of the population) and 289 deaths (2.25% mortality rate). That’s pretty well on a par with the worst of the “renegade” states. Nationwide backlash aside, could it be that these nine governors aren’t so crazy after all?
Read more from James Fite.
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