The second damning report regarding COVID 19 for Montana in a week from the financial website Wallet Hub was released on Thursday.
KGVO News spoke with Wallet Hub analyst Jill Gonzalez, who said Montana was the worst in the country for COVID-related hospitalizations.
âCurrently Montana has the third highest positive test rate and makes it the highest hospitalization rate in the country,â Gonzalez said. âIt’s 14 times higher than Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Vermont, and those are the scary numbers. I would say hospitalizations and deaths in Montana do the best either. “
On safety, again Gonzalez said Montana is near bottom for the entire country.
âSadly, over the past two weeks, Montana is ranked fourth among the least safe states during this phase of COVID-19,â she said. âIt’s through five different measures. These are the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive tests, hospitalization and death, as well as the proportion of the eligible population getting vaccinated. “
Gonzalez said she hopes heads of state are watching and listening and will take action to improve Montana’s health and safety.
âIn many states these numbers are moving very positively,â she said. In fact, to be a state where we don’t see that positive trend, and then be at the bottom of the list, obviously something has to change, and being the last of the hospitalizations, I think, is the scariest. So something has to change and be done, whether it’s raising awareness or making it accessible to get people vaccinated. “
As a financial website, Gonzalez said that Wallet Hub is primarily focused on economic issues, but an unhealthy state cannot grow economically.
âFor the overall economy and getting the economy back on track, security is also essential,â she said. âRight now, at the start of the fourth quarter, we’re going to see the main shopping season of the year. People want to feel safe so they can go out, spend money, and give back to local businesses and local communities. “
Wallet Hub says the good news is that the United States is ramping up vaccination, as around 57% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 12.