A reason some experts think the U.S. has had trouble containing the virus is because states have managed it differently. Inconsistency has jeopardized safety, according to the National Safety Council.
“This pandemic is not finished by a long shot, so that's another reason why we put this report out when we did is because we can learn from this,” said Lorraine Martin, President and CEO of the National Safety Council.
The council looked at five areas in how states have addressed the pandemic: Employer guidelines, testing, contact tracing, mental health, and substance use and roadway safety.
They say states struggled with communication.
“We also found while some states had good intentions, just getting the data to people in a very clear and concise way and making it available at people's fingertips, that also was sometimes a struggle,” said Martin.
Testing and contact tracing need work in many areas.
The report highlights another issue – overdoses are increasing in 40 states.
“We had a good year last year where we started to bring some of that down,” said Martin. “It’s headed in the wrong direction again. We can all understand why there’s a lot of stress, restrictions getting the support that you need but it’s really important that we look at the states that have done this well.”
Overall, states were put in three categories: On track, lagging and off-track. Only 12 got the best rating.