Gov. Reaction Rate to COVID-19: West Virginia ranks #1 in US

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – According to a new study, West Virginia ranks number one as the best state who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. has ranked how the 50 states have responded to the coronavirus pandemic and found West Virginia to be the most responsive state. “We analyzed six key metrics including when the state saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19, when the state declared a state of emergency, and when the state issued a stay-at-home order.”

Which state performed the best overall?

California and New York may be stealing all the national headlines, but West Virginia is the state that more quickly put together a coordinated effort to stop the speed of COVID-19, according to our metrics.

Rather than wait for a problem to arise, West Virginia shuttered schools four days before the state saw its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. It also declared a state of emergency a day before a case was confirmed. And on the day after it reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, West Virginia closed all restaurants and bars for dine-in services.

While you might rightly point out that West Virginia is a state struck later than the others by COVID-19, it outperformed other states like Nebraska, which saw its first confirmed case on the same day as West Virginia.

Which state performed the worst overall?

Speaking of Nebraska, the Cornhusker State had the least robust response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to Finder’s metrics. Nebraska failed to provide a coordinated response to closing its schools, leaving the decision to local cities and governments.

Worse still, Nebraska has yet to issue a stay-at-home order or order closing nonessential businesses as of April 13th.

Two other states that performed poorly are Arizona and Washington. Unlike Nebraska, these two states have issued stay-at-home orders and closed nonessential businesses. Yet they rank poorly because of each state’s lagged response after its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

Arizona and Washington were among the first states to report confirmed cases of the coronavirus in late January. However, it took more than a month after for either state to declare a state of emergency or close bars, restaurants and schools. Worse still, it was more than two months before either state-issued stay-at-home orders or closed nonessential services.

How did other states do?

You can click this link to see them all:

For more information on this study, you can visit:

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at