Mar 28, 2023 - COVID

Georgia has the 9th-highest COVID death rate

Cumulative COVID-19 death rates, by state
Data: The Lancet; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Georgia saw the 9th-highest adjusted COVID death rate, according to an analysis published by The Lancet.

Zoom out: D.C., Arizona and New Mexico saw the three-worst rates, Axios' Tina Reed writes.

Why it matters: The paper is among the first deep dives to explore the social and economic factors at play during the pandemic.

Between the lines: The analysis found states with more mandates, such as those that encouraged mask use, mobility restrictions and vaccination — and kept them longer — experienced lower infection rates.

  • But, the authors said, only vaccine coverage had a strong association with the state-by-state variation in COVID death rates.

Of note: 59% of Georgians have received two vaccine doses. But just 27% have received the recommended four.

The better news: Hawaii had the lowest adjusted COVID death rate with 147 COVID deaths per 100,000 people. It was followed by New Hampshire (215 per 100,000) and Maine (281 per 100,000).

  • "Our study suggests that the policy mandates and protective behaviors adopted in this pandemic were effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections but might have been associated with employment and educational trade-offs," the authors wrote.

Flashback: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp faced much criticism in the spring of 2020, including from the Trump White House, for pushing to ease restrictions and reopen some of the state's businesses earlier than most other states. He's consistently defended his decisions as protecting "lives and livelihoods."

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