The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across America. President Joe Biden recently warned the U.S. death toll from the disease could top 600,000 people. As of today, 421,330 people have died in America which is about 20% of the world’s total, and America has had 25,227,940 confirmed cases, about 25% of the global figure.
The spread of the disease has been very uneven, although it has hit almost every state in the nation hard. America’s 50th state is America’s safest by a widely used measure.
This widely used way to measure states against one based on COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths is the figure per 100,000 residents taken over a seven-day average. Hawaii has the lowest figure for confirmed cases at 8. At the far end of the spectrum, Arizona’s figure is 93. Among Hawaii’s five counties, one has reported only a single case–Kalawao County. It is the nation’s smallest county both based on square miles and population.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “In November, the disease reached Loving County, Texas, with 169 people the second-smallest county in the U.S. after Hawaii’s Kalawao County. The next month, Kalawao was the last county to see a case.”
According to the U.S. Census, Kalawao County had 86 residents as of July 1, 2019. Of that population, about half are Natives Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Another quarter of the population is White. The median household income is $69,375, about the same as the national number. The county covers only 12 square miles.
There really is no lesson about the lack of disease in Kalawao County. Few, if any, counties in America are so remote. Hawaii does have strict rules for screening people who come to that state. That is probably why the rest of the population has been less affected than elsewhere.