WASHINGTON (CBS13) — A study done by Wallethub ranked California the first safest “state” to live in during the pandemic next only to Washington D.C., which is technically a district.

But, why is this?

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Well, the study measured four key metrics of health and safety and analyzed them across all 50 states. These metrics included COVID transmission rates, the rate of positive tests, COVID hospitalizations and deaths, and the portion of state residents receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

However, one might think that these states were safer due to stricter regulations and prevention measures, however, the fifth safest state was Florida, which had some of the least strict measures put in place.

Additionally, Florida came in seven spots safer than New York, a state that implemented some of the most precautionary measures.

With the holiday season fast approaching, researchers hypothesized that the safer people feel, the more they will spend on gatherings and travel. This would, in turn, help to boost the economy.

“The safer people feel during the winter holidays, the more they will spend on gatherings and associated seasonal travel. However, the spike in breakthrough COVID cases paired with the omicron variant might make people feel less safe,” explains WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “Companies and individuals alike are starting to become more cautious again, which can impact the return to normality that the economy has gotten used to.”

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With restrictions on travel being much less severe than last year, there is also hope that the holiday travel boom will help the economy at large.

“Opening the U.S. to international travelers will do wonders for the economy, too. The tourism industry has been struggling during the pandemic, and we should see a spike in revenue, which will allow the industry to expand its hiring. European tourists will have an especially big impact, as they tend to be some of the highest spenders per capita,” Gonzalez adds.

But what stands in the way of some states catching up to California in terms of safety?

According to researchers, vaccination rate is the highest indicator of overall safety in these states.

“Increasing the number of people vaccinated is essential for getting control of the pandemic,” says Gonzalez.

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You can view the entire list of states ranked in order, here.