No one could have imagined that in March 2020 what was originally proposed to be a 2-4 week quarantine would turn into nearly 2 years of postponements, cancellations and major life changes for the majority of Michiganders.

Safety Sign with COVID-19 protocols
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And while obviously people have the personal freedoms to chose where and how they wanted to protect (or in some cases, ignore) themselves and others during the pandemic. And while Michigan was one of the first states and more strict states to implement COVID rules and regulations, it turns out somehow we still were towards the bottom of the list when it comes to keeping each other safe.

The good news is that around 66% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of April 19. So now that we are in the back end of the pandemic, how did we do?

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scaliger/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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WalletHub did the heavy lifting recently and compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five metrics: The rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations and death, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated.

What was the safest state? Maryland

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Maryland masked up and stayed inside more than any other state in the US, which helped them keep their rate of transmission low. While they weren't in the top 5 states in any of the categories the survey considered, they had the highest average score across all five, which made them the most consistent and safest state of all.

What was the least safe state? Nevada

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Nevada's biggest city, Las Vegas, was one of the last to close down, and one of the first to reopen, so it's not surprising why they ended up with this ranking. Add the fact Las Vegas is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country, coupled with the

Why did Michigan rank so low on the list?

Source: WalletHub

While Michigan was initially one of the leading states when it came to health and safety mandates, ultimately Michiganders sometimes didn't heed the advice of those in charge.

Michigan reached it's highest positivity rate for COVID in November 2021, when 20 percent of tests came back positive during the week of Thanksgiving. While Michigan was not one of the first (nor last) states to drop mandates, vaccination rates were generally below average for the country, thus causing a high positivity rate late last year.

How does Michigan prevent COVID going forward?

Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Recipients In London
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While for the most part life is back to pre-pandemic routines, experts say we aren't past COVID.

When asked, many experts say that unless more people are exposed to the virus, we will likely continue to have spikes in cases, particularly in the cooler months when we spend more time indoors. Dr. Mohammad R. Torabi said,

I believe that as long as there is no worldwide herd immunity, the virus may continue to mutate to potentially much higher levels of virulent/pathogenicity and potentially with a higher rate of infectivity. The western world along with China, and Russia must work collaboratively with World Health Organization and make a serious investment in providing safe and effective vaccines to the poor nations to possibly eradicate this serious disease or at least reduce that to a manageable endemic level.

And while no one expects there to be quarantines or mask mandates going forward, we could see people experiencing stronger or different forms of the virus as it mutates over time.

Of course your best course of action is to get your vaccine and booster shots (as needed), to wear a mask if you must be indoors for extended periods of time with large amounts of people, and to wash your hands frequently. And, make sure to stay home if you're sick in order to be considerate to others and prevent the spread of illness.

Michigan Offering Free at-Home COVID-19 Tests at Public Libraries

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering Michigan residents free at-home COVID-19 tests which are available at various public libraries throughout the state.

We'll update the list as more libraries have test kits available.