These States Are Doing the Worst Job of Limiting Person-to-Person Spread

According to new research, these are the places where people aren't social distancing.

The coronavirus can spread in various ways, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it mainly spreads through person-to-person contact. That's why social distancing is so important. Most research shows that respiratory droplets produced by infected people typically doesn't spread further than six feet, depending on the activity, which is why maintaining a six-foot distance from others is recommended. However, not everyone is so good at keeping their distance. TopData recently created a report ranking states on how much they've cut down on in-person contact amid COVID, by comparing the average amount of daily interactions lasting longer than five minutes that people report now, compared to the amount they had on an average day in 2019. Discarding the already spread-out states with a daily interaction rate of less than three, these are the five states doing the worst job of limiting person-to-person spread through social distancing. And for more on how certain areas are doing, check out the 10 States on the Brink of Becoming COVID Hotspots, According to Experts.


tulsa oklahoma skyline

Oklahomans are interacting at a 74.6 percent of their normal rate. Normally, have an average of 4.77 close interactions daily, and during COVID, that average has only reduced to 3.56. In comparison, California, the state which is doing the best at social distancing, has an interaction rate of 3.o3 right now when they normally have a 13.47 interaction rate. And for how your home is doing, Here's When Your State Will Have to Shut Down Again, New Research Shows.


Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas.

People are currently interacting in Arkansas at a rate of 3.49 daily. But normally, they only interact at a rate of 4.55—which means that Arkansans have only reduced their in-person contact by 23.3 percent.


Jackson is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi.

Minnesotans are still interacting at 77.8 percent of their normal rate. Pre-pandemic, they reported an average of 4.19 in-person interactions per day and that number has only reduced to 3.49. And for more state statistics, check out This State Is Now Experiencing the Worst COVID Spike in the U.S.


Downtown Omaha skyline with the Gene Leahy Mall in the foreground

Normally, Nebraskans interact at a rate of 3.15, but during coronavirus, that's only dropped to 2.47. This means they're still interacting at 78.3 percent of their normal rate.


downtown birmingham alabama

At the top of the worst list, people Alabama are still interacting at a percentage of 82.1 their normal rate. The average before the coronavirus reached the U.S. was 6.50 per day, and they've barely adjusted their behavior, reporting an average of 5.34 daily interactions now. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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