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Counties doing the best and worst at social distancing in every state

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Alexi Rosenfeld // Getty Images

Counties doing the best and worst at social distancing in every state

Before the coronavirus outbreak, if someone said you needed to practice social distancing, you probably would not have been familiar with the term. Phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” have become part of everyday vernacular as people try to navigate both the novel coronavirus and the novel world.

Insofar as social distancing is concerned, it didn’t take long to learn its meaning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides this definition: ‟Social distancing, also called ‘physical distancing,’ means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home.” To practice social or physical distancing, the CDC recommends that individuals maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other people, not gather in groups and crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings.

Wondering how well social distancing is going in the U.S.? To identify how well counties are doing with socially distancing, Stacker partnered with location data provider Unacast. Its Social Distancing Scoreboard uses geolocated cellphone data to determine how the average distance traveled, visits to nonessential locations, and human encounters have decreased in all U.S. states and counties compared to the baselines for those regions.

Each region is assigned a grade from A to F: A represents higher than a 70% decrease in activity, B represents a 55%–70% decrease, C represents a 40%–55% decrease, D represents a 25%–40% decrease, and F represents below a 25% decrease. This story includes the counties in each state with exceptionally high (usually B or above) or low (usually D- or F) scores relative to the rest of the state. The scores included here are as of May 1, 2020. Please note that for states with more than 10 failing counties, we listed the 10 with the highest populations. Check the scoreboard regularly for the most recent values since Unacast updates this data daily. 

Stacker’s team also scanned the news for updates about how each state is doing with social distancing and flattening the curve. Keep reading to see how your state ranks.

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Michael Rivera // Wikimedia Commons

Alabama

- Best counties: Washington County (Grade: C), Wilcox County (C), Bullock County (C), Perry County (C), Greene County (C)
- Worst counties: Jefferson County (Grade: F), Mobile County (F), Madison County (F), Montgomery County (F), Baldwin County (F), Shelby County (F), Tuscaloosa County (F), Lee County (F), Morgan County (F), Calhoun County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

On April 20, WBRC reported on a study released by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington that indicated Alabama could begin relaxing its social distancing by the week of May 18. On April 22, WAAY-TV reported that Marshall County had become a hot spot for North Alabama, reporting eight new cases in the previous six hours. The county’s number of cases had been growing more rapidly than any other county in North Alabama, with 241 cases, four deaths, and a total of 923 people tested.

[Pictured: Empty park benches in Baldwin County, Alabama.]

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GoToVan // Flickr

Alaska

- Best counties: Bethel Census Area (Grade: A), Northwest Arctic Borough (A), Aleutians West Census Area (A)
- Worst counties: Anchorage Municipality (Grade: F)

On April 22, the Anchorage Daily Newsreported that Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy accelerated his timeline on opening up the economy and was beginning to ease some restrictions later that week. The article noted that businesses, including barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and tanning salons, would be permitted to open with the caveat that they only allow one customer in at a time.

 

 

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Tech. Sgt. Clinton Atkins // U.S. Air Force

Arizona

- Best counties: Apache County (Grade: C), La Paz County (C), Greenlee County (C)
- Worst counties: Maricopa County (Grade: F), Pinal County (F)

As Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey pondered the state’s reopening on April 30, 12NEWS reported that, according to a study conducted for the Arizona Department of Health Services, the outlook would not be good if there were an early lifting of social distancing. The study on Scenarios and Projections for COVID-19 in Arizona noted that thousands could die by the end of July without social distancing in place.

[Pictured: Medical professionals from St. Joseph’s Hospital watch as aircraft from Luke Air Force Base and the Arizona Air National Guard 161st Air Refueling Wing fly by the Phoenix metro May 1 while participating in a flyover as a Total Force salute to each American serving on the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus.]

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The National Guard // Flickr

Arkansas

- Best counties: Bradley County (Grade: B-), Montgomery County (B-)
- Worst counties: Pulaski County (Grade: F), Benton County (F), Washington County (F), Sebastian County (F), Faulkner County (F), Saline County (F), Craighead County (F), White County (F), Lonoke County (F), Jefferson County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

KNWA reported that Arkansas scored an F on a social distancing scoreboard from Unacast on April 6. On April 22, KARK announced that on April 27, Gov. Asa Hutchinson would lift restrictions on elective procedures.

[Pictured: Arkansas National Guardsmen work side by side with other state agencies to plan for potential patient surges due to COVID-19, and to assist the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with screening and testing for COVID-19.]

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David Livingston // Getty Images

California

- Best counties: Mariposa County (Grade: B-), Trinity County (B-)
- Worst counties: Riverside County (Grade: F), San Bernardino County (F), Sacramento County (F), Fresno County (F), Ventura County (F), San Joaquin County (F), Stanislaus County (F), Solano County (F), Placer County (F), Butte County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

ABC7 reported on April 24 that California Gov. Gavin Newsom was pleading with the public to continue social distancing despite the warm weather forecast. The state had seen declines in the number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations. With an increasing desire from residents to hit the state’s beaches, Newsom encouraged them to maintain social distancing to continue flattening the curve.

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RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post // Getty Images

Colorado

- Best counties: Pitkin County (Grade: A-), San Miguel County (A)
- Worst counties: El Paso County (Grade: F), Arapahoe County (F), Jefferson County (F), Adams County (F), Larimer County (F), Douglas County (F), Weld County (F), Pueblo County (F), Broomfield County (F)

Social distancing efforts have succeeded in reducing the spread of the coronavirus in Colorado according to an article in Colorado Politico on April 21. Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, noted the curve had declined and the contact rate was reduced by 75%.

[Pictured: The Denver Broncos and the Food Bank of the Rockies hosted a mobile pantry for 2,000 families at Empower Field at Mile High on April 27 in Denver.]

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John Moore // Getty Images

Connecticut

- Best counties: Litchfield County (Grade: D-), Tolland County (D-)
- Worst counties: Fairfield County (Grade: F), Hartford County (F), New Haven County (F), New London County (F), Middlesex County (F), Windham County (F)

Connecticut scored a C- in social distancing in a study by Unacast as reported by WFSB on April 24. Middlesex County was given a D+ in the study where most counties scored between a C+ and a C-. While Gov. Ned Lamont talks to residents about easing some restrictions that have been put in place, he warns against doing so too quickly.

[Pcitured: Volunteers load bags of groceries to be delivered to seniors isolated in their homes in Stamford, Connecticut.]

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ERIC BARADAT/AFP // Getty Images

Delaware

- Best counties: New Castle County (Grade: D)
- Worst counties: Sussex County (Grade: F), Kent County (F)

Delaware closed its schools for the remainder of the year on April 24, as reported by WBOC. Though the state’s counties have been doing well in social distancing, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continues to rise, in particular in Sussex County, which has been reported to be in one of the best counties. The story noted that on April 23 there were 3,442 laboratory-confirmed cases.

[Pictured: A man shops at a Haitian supermarket where members of the Haitian community are regular customers in Seaford, Delaware, on May 2.]

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Cliff Hawkins // Getty Image

Florida

- Best counties: Dixie County (Grade: C), Calhoun County (C), Glades County (C), Lafayette County (C), Liberty County (C)
- Worst counties: Hillsborough County (Grade: F), Pinellas County (F), Duval County (F), Lee County (F), Polk County (F), Brevard County (F), Volusia County (F), Pasco County (F), Seminole County (F), Sarasota County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

On April 24, 7 News Miami reported that beaches in parts of Florida reopened on April 22; however, beachgoers still needed to maintain social distancing guidelines. The New York Post also noted on April 22, that a Quinnipiac University survey reported that 72% of Florida voters said that the Sunshine State should not loosen social distancing rules by the end of the month.

[Pictured: Robert "Raven" Kraft runs alone on the closed beach after being granted special permission by city officials on April 29, 2020. Kraft has run every day on Miami Beach since Jan. 1, 1975.]

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Kevin C. Cox // Getty Images

Georgia

- Best counties: Randolph County (Grade: B-)
- Worst counties: Gwinnett County (Grade: F), Cobb County (F), DeKalb County (F), Clayton County (F), Chatham County (F), Cherokee County (F), Forsyth County (F), Henry County (F), Hall County (F), Richmond County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

As Georgia reopened, Reuters reported on April 24 that the Three-13 Salon in Atlanta had customers stand 6 feet apart as they awaited their first haircuts since the start of social distancing. Customers also had to have their temperatures taken and answer questions about whether they had a cough, fever, or if anyone in their homes had been sick or quarantined in the past two weeks.

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Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles Oki // U.S. Navy

Hawaii

- Best counties: Hawaii County (Grade: C)
- Worst counties: Honolulu County (Grade: D-)

On April 23, the Star Advertiser reported that Bruce Anderson, the state’s health director, said Hawaii was ready to consider initial steps to begin reopening the state. Hawaii had shown at that point that it was relatively free of the coronavirus.

[Pictured: Shannon-Marie Winters, a Navy Exchange employee, scans a shoppers items at the NEX Mall on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.]

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Unsplash

Idaho

- Best counties: Shoshone County (Grade: B), Boise County (B-)
- Worst counties: Ada County (Grade: F), Canyon County (F), Kootenai County (F), Bonneville County (F), Bannock County (F), Twin Falls County (F), Madison County (F)

On April 24, Boise State Public Radio reported that Ada County led the state with the most cases of the coronavirus with 601. Blaine County, not listed above, had the highest per-resident rate of COVID-19 cases in the state.

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Scott Olson // Getty Images

Illinois

- Best counties: Jasper County (Grade: B-), Schuyler County (B-), Stark County (B-)
- Worst counties: Lake County (Grade: F), Will County (F), Kane County (F), McHenry County (F), Winnebago County (F), Madison County (F), St. Clair County (F), Rock Island County (F), Tazewell County (F), Kendall County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

The Chicago Tribunereported on April 23 that Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the modified stay-at-home order to May 30 and required citizens to cover their faces in public settings. Along with golf courses, some businesses and state parks were being permitted to open, all with strict restrictions.

[Pictured: Jose Fox (L), Mike Brazeau (C), and Justin Edwards take a break after a baseball practice at Little Cubs Field in Humboldt Park on May 2 in Chicago.]

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Jeremy Hogan / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media // Getty Images

Indiana

- Best counties: Ohio County (Grade: B-)
- Worst counties: Lake County (Grade: F), Allen County (F), Hamilton County (F), St. Joseph County (F), Elkhart County (F), Tippecanoe County (F), Vanderburgh County (F), Porter County (F), Hendricks County (F), Johnson County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

On April 23, CNN Wire reported that Indiana was retracing its timeline of the coronavirus after learning that COVID-19 began killing people earlier than originally reported. Indiana reported its first case in early March, but to make sure all of the coronavirus-related deaths are accounted for, officials are tracking cases back to mid-February.

[Pictured: Protesters carry signs while wearing masks in a socially distant Earth Day demonstration at the southeast corner of the Monroe County Courthouse Square amid the COVID-19 outbreak.]

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John Wisniewski // Flickr

Iowa

- Best counties: Wright County (Grade: B-), Shelby County (B-), Hancock County (B-), Mitchell County (B-), Monroe County (B-), Adams County (B-)
- Worst counties: Polk County (Grade: F), Linn County (F), Scott County (F), Black Hawk County (F), Woodbury County (F), Story County (F), Dubuque County (F), Pottawattamie County (F), Dallas County (F), Warren County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

On April 24, the Associated Press reported that Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said that the first step in reopening Iowa’s economy was to permit elective surgeries and have farmer’s markets open with certain restrictions. No cases had been reported in 16 Iowa counties, however the state reported a surge of more than 500 people with COVID-19.

 

 

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Jamie Squire // Getty Images

Kansas

- Best counties: Norton County (Grade: B), Wallace County (A-)
- Worst counties: Johnson County (Grade: F), Sedgwick County (F), Shawnee County (F), Douglas County (F), Leavenworth County (F), Butler County (F), Reno County (F), Saline County (F), Crawford County (F), Harvey County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

As the number of deaths from the coronavirus goes down in the state, Kansas expanded testing as reported by Fox 4 on April 24. Kansas Department of Health and Environment Director Dr. Norman Lee said that as hospitals become less burdened and testing increased, Kansas officials will better understand how the virus spreads and be in a position to improve preventive and safety measures.

[Pictured: Health care workers counterprotest in front of the state capitol building while armed veterans ascend the stairs as protestors demand that businesses be allowed to open up, people allowed to work, and lives returned to normal on April 23 in Topeka.]

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Andy Lyons // Getty Images

Kentucky

- Best counties: Martin County (Grade: B-)
- Worst counties: Kenton County (Grade: F), Boone County (F), Warren County (F), Hardin County (F), Daviess County (F), Madison County (F), Bullitt County (F), Christian County (F), Oldham County (F), McCracken County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

Increased testing created record numbers of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky, according to a report in theCourier-Journal on April 24. The state issued an executive order giving pharmacists temporary testing permission and plans to open 11 drive-through sites in nine cities.

[Pictured: A view of the twin spires and empty grandstand from the first turn at Churchill Downs on May 2 in Louisville.]

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Lan Wei/Xinhua // Getty

Louisiana

- Best counties: Grant Parish (Grade: B-), Claiborne Parish (B-)
- Worst counties: East Baton Rouge Parish (Grade: F), Jefferson Parish (F), St. Tammany Parish (F), Caddo Parish (F), Lafayette Parish (F), Calcasieu Parish (F), Ouachita Parish (F), Livingston Parish (F), Tangipahoa Parish (F), Rapides Parish (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

KATC reported on April 24 that the health department was trying to determine why Louisiana’s death rate is more than twice what it anticipated and differed considerably among regions of Louisiana. It estimated that 2% of residents who contract the coronavirus are dying from it.

[Pictured: Graffiti is seen outside a store showing that people could still communicate at a distance during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Orleans.]

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Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald // Getty Images

Maine

- Best counties: Franklin County (Grade: B-), Piscataquis County (B-)
- Worst counties: Kennebec County (Grade: F), Androscoggin County (F)

According to a report in TheBangor Daily News on April 24, Maine Gov. Janet Mills said that the state’s approach to lifting restrictions will be a gradual process, and she cautioned that returning to normal will not be on the nearby horizon. April 23 was the state’s deadliest day on record with five deaths from COVID-19 from a veterans' home in Cumberland County.

 

 

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ALEX EDELMAN/AFP // Getty Images

Maryland

- Best counties: Montgomery County (Grade: D+)
- Worst counties: Prince George's County (Grade: F), Baltimore County (F), Frederick County (F), Harford County (F), Carroll County (F), Charles County (F), Washington County (F), St. Mary's County (F), Wicomico County (F), Cecil County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in April released a plan called “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,” to reopen the state. The first phase of that reopening began May 15; however, concerns the state had opened prematurely were raised when Maryland on May 19 saw its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases to date.

[Pictured: Firefighters and paramedics communicate with a citizen as they respond to a medical 911 call on May 3 in Glen Burnie.]

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Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe // Getty Images

Massachusetts

- Best counties: Suffolk County (Grade: C+)
- Worst counties: Worcester County (Grade: F), Bristol County (F), Plymouth County (F), Hampden County (F), Barnstable County (F), Hampshire County (F)

On May 6, the Boston Herald reported that Gov. Charlie Baker said the goal is for the state to begin opening particular businesses from May 18. However, in a press briefing on May 7, the governor announced golf courses would be allowed to open immediately, with strict social distancing guidelines in place, noting he will take a similar approach with other industries, according to CBS Boston reporting. 

[Pictured: Rep. Chynah Tyler, left, talks about the COVID-19 pandemic with resident Janine Edwards while handing out face masks at Nubian Station in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston on April 29.]

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JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP // Getty Images

Michigan

- Best counties: Alger County (Grade: B), Luce County (A-)
- Worst counties: Macomb County (Grade: F), Genesee County (F), Ottawa County (F), Kalamazoo County (F), Livingston County (F), Saginaw County (F), Muskegon County (F), St. Clair County (F), Jackson County (F), Berrien County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 15 while loosening some restrictions, as reported on April 24 on Local 4. On the same day, Detroit Metro Timesreported that while southeast Michigan has been the area hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, once social distancing is relaxed, northern Michigan’s death rate could spike.

[Pictured: Ryan Kelley, a protest organizer for the American Patriot Rally (put together by the Michigan United for Liberty for the reopening of businesses) stands on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on April 30.]

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Start Tribune // Getty Images

Minnesota

- Best counties: Cass County (Grade: B-), Redwood County (B-), Koochiching County (B-), Jackson County (B-), Yellow Medicine County (B-), Pipestone County (B-), Murray County (B-), Grant County (B-), Mahnomen County (B-), Lake of the Woods County (B-)
- Worst counties: Dakota County (Grade: F), Anoka County (F), Washington County (F), Olmsted County (F), Scott County (F), Wright County (F), Sherburne County (F), Blue Earth County (F), Rice County (F), Winona County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

With warmer weather on the horizon, people are looking forward to enjoying outdoor activities. WCCO 4 CBS Minnesota noted on April 16 that the Hennepin County sheriff’s office gave tips for boaters that adhered to Gov. Tim Walz’s guidelines for social distancing. Citizens are advised to only boat with a family member, go directly to the boat from home and back from the boat to home, and practice social distancing guidelines from other boats and people.

[Pictured: Dr. Andrew Badley outside the historic Plummer building on the Mayo Clinic campus. The clinic is on total lockdown to media inside their facilities, but Mayo's "war room" for coronavirus research is inside this building. Badley has been there for weeks.]

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Unsplash

Mississippi

- Best counties: Tunica County (Grade: B)
- Worst counties: Hinds County (Grade: F), Harrison County (F), DeSoto County (F), Rankin County (F), Jackson County (F), Madison County (F), Lee County (F), Lauderdale County (F), Forrest County (F), Jones County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a new executive order on April 24 titled "Safer at Home," allowing most retail stores to open for business on April 27. He cautioned that Mississippians should continue practicing social distancing and staying home when possible.

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Jamie Squire // Getty Images

Missouri

- Best counties: Oregon County (Grade: B-), Gentry County (B-)
- Worst counties: Jackson County (Grade: F), St. Charles County (F), Greene County (F), Clay County (F), Jefferson County (F), Boone County (F), Jasper County (F), Cass County (F), Franklin County (F), Buchanan County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

On April 25, the Washington Timesreported that Missouri was testing workers at three meatpacking plants, where it often is difficult to practice social distancing. Twenty-one staffers in a small city named California, 42 employees at a plant in Marshall, and 16 workers at a pork plant in St. Joseph tested positive.

[Pictured: Alec Overmann, a supporter of the stay-at-home order, demonstrates at a protest against the order at the Country Club Plaza on April 20, 2020, in Kansas City, Missouri.]

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William Campbell/Corbis // Getty Images

Montana

- Best counties: Madison County (Grade: B), Fallon County (B)
- Worst counties: Yellowstone County (Grade: F)

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's phased approach to open the state was unveiled by NBC Montana on April 22. That plan allowed churches to hold services, and restaurants, bars, and casinos to open with reduced capacity on May 4.

[Pictured: A sign on the door of Colmey Veterinary Hospital asking clients to stay in their car until called into the facility in Livingston, Montana.]

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Airman 1st Class Zoë T. Perkins // U.S. Air Force

Nebraska

- Best counties: Greeley County (Grade: B)
- Worst counties: Lancaster County (Grade: F), Sarpy County (F), Hall County (F), Buffalo County (F), Dodge County (F), Madison County (F), Lincoln County (F)

River County’s News Channel Nebraska noted that Nebraska City’s 149th Arbor Day Celebration theme “Remember Your Roots” was on point. The article reported that during the pandemic of 1918, a proclamation was made for the renewal of the spirit of tree-building. This year, residents kept the spirit alive and celebrated virtually, posting pictures of their tree-planting activities online.

 

 

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Ethan Miller // Getty Images

Nevada

- Best counties: Elko County (Grade: B-)
- Worst counties: Washoe County (Grade: F), Carson City (F)

CNN reported on April 23 that Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman would not be providing social distancing guidelines for businesses. However, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that casino owners galvanized to develop a plan to open safely.

[Pictured: Prototype clear acrylic safety shield dividers made by Las Vegas-based Screaming Images are tested at a blackjack table at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino on April 29 in Las Vegas.]

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JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP // Getty Images

New Hampshire

- Best counties: Coos County (Grade: C-)
- Worst counties: Hillsborough County (Grade: F), Rockingham County (F), Strafford County (F), Belknap County (F)

Concord Patch on April 22 reported 99 new positive tests of the coronavirus. An outbreak at the Easterseals Gammon Academy in Manchester, New Hampshire, was reported the previous week, and included 23 children.

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Islam Dogru/Anadolu Agency // Getty Images

New Jersey

- Best counties: Essex County (Grade: C-)
- Worst counties: Ocean County (Grade: F), Burlington County (F), Gloucester County (F), Cumberland County (F), Sussex County (F), Hunterdon County (F), Warren County (F), Cape May County (F), Salem County (F)

This won’t be a typical sunny summer at the Jersey Shores. This year’s beach season may feature sunbathers in masks and a 6-foot blanket rule, according to an April 25 post on NJ.com. Point Pleasant Beach officials said the beach may have a test run reopening—permitting residents on the beach, followed by police monitoring of social distancing behavior.

[Pictured: New Jersey residents enjoy a sunny day at Branch Brook Park in Newark, on May 3 after all state parks were reopened for the first time since April 7.]

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PAUL RATJE/AFP // Getty Image

New Mexico

- Best counties: Taos County (Grade: B+), Catron County (B)
- Worst counties: Curry County (Grade: D-), Bernalillo County (F)

In an April 23 article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, it was reported that physician and New Mexico Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase said that New Mexico had flattened the curve. State officials credited social distancing for helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the state’s stay-at-home orders to May but presented the initial details of a future plan to reopen New Mexico.

[Pictured: Father Christoper Williams of the Basilica of San Albino prepares communion with Eucharistic ministers during an outdoor mass on May 2 in Mesilla, New Mexico, amid the coronavirus pandemic.]

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Alexi Rosenfeld // Getty Images

New York

- Best counties: New York County (Grade: C+), Essex County (B-)
- Worst counties: Suffolk County (Grade: F), Erie County (F), Monroe County (F), Richmond County (F), Orange County (F), Dutchess County (F), Saratoga County (F), Niagara County (F), Broome County (F), Ulster County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

NPR reported on April 25 that New York plans to expand testing criteria for COVID-19 and to increase antibody testing while Gov. Andrew Cuomo urges residents to adhere to social distancing. On April 13, The New York Times reported that New York City was struggling with the growing crisis of homeless people amid the COVID-19 crisis and was moving them into hotels to improve social distancing.

 

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LOGAN CYRUS/AFP // Getty Images

North Carolina

- Best counties: Warren County (Grade: C), Bertie County (C), Washington County (C), Gates County (C), Jones County (C), Graham County (C), Hyde County (C), Tyrrell County (C)
- Worst counties: Wake County (Grade: F), Guilford County (F), Forsyth County (F), Cumberland County (F), Union County (F), New Hanover County (F), Gaston County (F), Cabarrus County (F), Johnston County (F), Onslow County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

As of April 24, Dare County had remained at 15 cases of the coronavirus for 13 consecutive days, as reported in the Island Free Press. The community cites social distancing and good hygiene as factors in flattening the curve.

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North Dakota

- Best counties: Sioux County (Grade: B)
- Worst counties: Cass County (Grade: F)

DroneLife reported on April 24 that it was sending drones to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to help promote social distancing. The drones deliver essential goods such as groceries and medicine to residents to enable them to stay at home.

 

 

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Barry Dale Gilfry // Flickr

Ohio

- Best counties: Harrison County (Grade: C), Morgan County (C), Noble County (C), Monroe County (C), Vinton County (C)
- Worst counties: Franklin County (Grade: F), Cuyahoga County (F), Hamilton County (F), Summit County (F), Montgomery County (F), Lucas County (F), Butler County (F), Stark County (F), Lorain County (F), Warren County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

NPR reported on April 28 that the stay-at-home order from Gov. Mike DeWine is about to expire with some degree of social distancing remaining. A model from University of Washington's IHME recommended that a state should have just one new infection per million people to reopen.

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Unsplash

Oklahoma

- Best counties: Love County (Grade: B-), Beaver County (B-), Ellis County (B-)
- Worst counties: Oklahoma County (Grade: F), Tulsa County (F), Cleveland County (F), Canadian County (F), Comanche County (F), Rogers County (F), Payne County (F), Wagoner County (F), Pottawatomie County (F), Creek County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

Barbershops, hair salons, and spas reopened in Oklahoma on April 22 as long as social distancing and sanitation practices were observed. A study released April 17 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revealed that Oklahoma should maintain social distancing until the end of June or the beginning of July.

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Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency // Getty Images

Oregon

- Best counties: Grant County (Grade: B-), Gilliam County (B-)
- Worst counties: Washington County (Grade: F), Clackamas County (F), Marion County (F), Jackson County (F), Deschutes County (F), Linn County (F), Yamhill County (F)

On April 24, OregonLive reported that projections given by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Washington, suggest that Oregon’s stringent steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus may have diverted 70,000 infections. The study's authors emphasized that Oregon still needs to maintain social distancing and increase testing.

[Pictured: Healthcare workers join protesters at the Re-Open Oregon Rally on May 2 in Salem, Oregon. Demonstrators gathered at the state capitol to demand a reopening of the state and to protest Gov. Kate Brown's stay-at-home order.]

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Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle // Getty Images

Pennsylvania

- Best counties: Juniata County (Grade: C), Potter County (C), Fulton County (C), Forest County (C), Sullivan County (C), Cameron County (C)
- Worst counties: Bucks County (Grade: F), York County (F), Berks County (F), Westmoreland County (F), Luzerne County (F), Northampton County (F), Erie County (F), Cumberland County (F), Washington County (F), Butler County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

An April 21 article on Newtown Patch noted that an analysis by the IHME revealed that Pennsylvania may be able to relax social distancing around the first week of June. The statewide stay-at-home mandate went through May 8.

[Pictured: People pick up non-food goods from tables set up outside City Light Ministries on Spruce Street in Reading on May 2, 2020.]

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Barry Chin/The Boston Globe // Getty Images

Rhode Island

- Worst counties: Providence County (Grade: F), Kent County (F), Washington County (F), Newport County (F), Bristol County (F)

On April 23, North Kingstown Patch reported that 100 cases of the coronavirus have been traced to a food processing plant in Kingstown, Rhode Island. Although Taylor Farms maintained strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it joined meatpacking and food plants in reporting outbreaks. Patch also reported on April 24 that nursing homes have had the highest number of the coronavirus cases and deaths in Rhode Island.

[Pictured: Evan Lancia, an English teacher at Cranston High School West, reaches out to students in his University of Rhode Island early-enrollment writing class on April 22 in Cranston, Rhode Island.]

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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

South Carolina

- Best counties: Allendale County (Grade: B-)
- Worst counties: Greenville County (Grade: F), Richland County (F), Charleston County (F), Horry County (F), Spartanburg County (F), Lexington County (F), York County (F), Berkeley County (F), Anderson County (F), Beaufort County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

Tensions escalated in Columbia, South Carolina, as an estimated thousand cars drove through the streets to protest Gov. Henry McMaster’s order to close nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus as reported by Greeneville News on April 24. The next day, WSOC TV revealed that officials announced 180 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths.

[Pictured: Small business owner Birl Hicks helps a customer at Area 57 at Columbia Place Mall on April 24 in Columbia, South Carolina.]

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KEREM YUCEL/AFP // Getty Images

South Dakota

- Best counties: Oglala Lakota County (Grade: A-), Dewey County (A-), Bennett County (A-), Perkins County (A-)
- Worst counties: Minnehaha County (Grade: F), Pennington County (F)

Although there was a major COVID-19 outbreak in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem did not issue a stay-at-home order according to a story on PBS News Hour on April 24. Noem also noted that she was not planning to close races at two speedways that weekend despite the anticipated crowds and their breach of both the state and CDC social distancing guidelines.

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Brett Carlsen // Getty Images

Tennessee

- Best counties: Wayne County (Grade: C), Bledsoe County (C), Jackson County (C), Perry County (C), Hancock County (C), Pickett County (C)
- Worst counties: Shelby County (Grade: F), Knox County (F), Hamilton County (F), Rutherford County (F), Williamson County (F), Montgomery County (F), Sumner County (F), Sullivan County (F), Wilson County (F), Blount County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

CNN reported on April 24 that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee planned to reopen most of the state’s counties the week of April 27. Lee indicated that not all industries would open immediately and that not all state parks would be open. On May 6, Gov. Bill Lee's Economic Recovery Group announced guidelines for recreational businesses to open from May 8 in 89 of the state's 95 counties.

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MARK FELIX/AFP // Getty Images

Texas

- Best counties: Brewster County (Grade: B), Edwards County (B), Stonewall County (B)
- Worst counties: Harris County (Grade: F), Bexar County (F), Hidalgo County (F), Denton County (F), El Paso County (F), Fort Bend County (F), Montgomery County (F), Williamson County (F), Cameron County (F), Brazoria County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

On April 24, The Dallas Morning News noted that Texas hot spots are located in the state’s rural counties. Moore and Shelby counties, which house large meat processing plants, were two of the top three counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

[Pictured: A beachgoer holds his dog at Galveston Beach on May 2 in Galveston, Texas.]

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George Frey // Getty Images

Utah

- Best counties: Sanpete County (Grade: C), Duchesne County (C), San Juan County (C), Morgan County (C), Emery County (C), Grand County (C), Kane County (C), Garfield County (C), Wayne County (C), Rich County (C)
- Worst counties: Salt Lake County (Grade: F), Utah County (F), Davis County (F), Weber County (F), Washington County (F), Cache County (F)

Utah residents enjoyed more outdoor spots for social distancing, hiking, and playing as state parks were opened to visitors from other counties on Thursday, April 23, as reported that day by TheSalt Lake Tribune. Gov. Gary Herbert had closed state parks in March.

[Pictured: A sign informing customers of social distancing rules hangs on a wall as moviegoers line up to buy food at the concession stand before the movie "Onward" starts at the Basin Drive-In on March 27 in Mount Pleasant, Utah.]

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APU GOMES/AFP // Getty Images

Vermont

- Best counties: Lamoille County (Grade: B)
- Worst counties: Franklin County (Grade: D+), Windham County (D+), Bennington County (D+), Orange County (D+), Orleans County (D+)

According to a story in the Burlington Free Press on April 25, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced that small crews of five or fewer workers could work outside. He also announced that manufacturing and distribution businesses could open with five employees or less who would need to practice social distancing guidelines, and that greenhouses and garden centers could open to 10 people or less, including staff, at any given time.

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OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP // Getty Images

Virginia

- Best counties: King and Queen County (Grade: B-), Craig County (B)
- Worst counties: Prince William County (Grade: F), Virginia Beach city (F), Chesterfield County (F), Henrico County (F), Norfolk city (F), Chesapeake city (F), Newport News city (F), Stafford County (F), Hampton city (F), Spotsylvania County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

ABC 13 News reported on April 25 that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has created a blueprint for a phased approach to reopening the state as the coronavirus cases continued to climb. He banned elective surgeries until May 1 and revealed a plan for the state’s Department of Corrections to release 2,000 inmates after lawmakers approved his budget amendment.

[Pictured: People wearing face masks gather in a park to watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly overhead on May 2 in a tribute to essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.]

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David Ryder // Getty Images

Washington

- Best counties: San Juan County (Grade: B), Ferry County (B)
- Worst counties: Pierce County (Grade: F), Snohomish County (F), Spokane County (F), Clark County (F), Thurston County (F), Kitsap County (F), Benton County (F), Cowlitz County (F), Island County (F)

An April 25 article in the Seattle Times questioned Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to ramp up the state’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. According to the article, Washington would need to increase its average number of tests per day—currently just more than 2,800— sevenfold, with limited federal support.

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Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post // Getty Images

West Virginia

- Best counties: Mingo County (Grade: B-), Roane County (B-), Tyler County (B-), Wirt County (B-)
- Worst counties: Kanawha County (Grade: F), Berkeley County (F), Monongalia County (F), Cabell County (F), Wood County (F), Raleigh County (F), Harrison County (F), Mercer County (F), Jefferson County (F), Putnam County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

According to a story in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on April 24, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed a plan to possibly reopen restaurants in one to two weeks with specific requirements. However, the state later reduced the "aggressiveness" of reopenings, according to West Virginia University official Clay Marsh, reported by WDTV West Virginia on May 5. Drive-in theaters and physical therapy businesses were allowed to open May 11. 

[Pictured: Closed downtown businesses in Charleston, West Virginia.]

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Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire // Getty Images

Wisconsin

- Best counties: Vilas County (Grade: B-), Sawyer County (B-), Washburn County (B-), Bayfield County (B-)
- Worst counties: Waukesha County (Grade: F), Brown County (F), Racine County (F), Outagamie County (F), Winnebago County (F), Kenosha County (F), Rock County (F), Washington County (F), Marathon County (F), La Crosse County (F)
- See all failing counties on the Unacast scoreboard

In an April 24 report, CNN noted that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 26. He also eased some restrictions, allowing golf courses to open and letting libraries and craft stores offer curbside pickup.

[Pictured: At a "Rally to Reopen Wisconsin," "Safer at Home" protesters demonstrate against measures enacted to mitigate the coronavirus on April 24 at the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison.]

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Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc // Getty Images

Wyoming

- Best counties: Teton County (Grade: B-), Weston County (B)
- Worst counties: Laramie County (Grade: D-)

Cowboy State Daily reported on April 23 that Wyoming improved its last place standing for social distancing according to a Unacast ranking. It had previously ended up in last place because its residents travel had increased 6% since the coronavirus pandemic began. The report noted that as of April 21, Wyoming residents had decreased their travel by 25%–40%.

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