Unsplash by Andrew "Donovan" Valdivia

Though many of us have seen recent videos of spring breakers in Miami, gathering in large groups without a mask in sight, a new study from QuoteWizard actually ranks Georgia as the riskiest place to visit right now followed by South Carolina and California.

However, the study found these numbers based on several factors aside from just current COVID numbers in each state:

  • Number of seniors with underlying health conditions
  • Hospital capacity and number of ICU beds in use
  • COVID-19 vaccination rates
  • Dangerous driving statistics
  • Number of COVID-19 cases and death rates

S.C. ranked fourth for vehicle accidents, 9th for COVID case rates, 11th for hospital capacity and 13th for vaccination rates. Earlier this year, another study conducted by Insurify found that Charleston was No. 5 on the list of American cities with the most dangerous drivers. QuoteWizard’s study took into account the number of statewide DUIs, speeding tickets and accidents.

These factors played a role in the state’s high place on the list, but most of the considered factors were COVID-19 related even as S.C. begins to see a general decrease in case numbers.

According to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Services, 30.3% of residents have received at least one vaccine dose and 16.3% have completed vaccination with more people becoming eligible this week as the state moves into phase 2 — general eligibility — on March 31. QuoteWizard’s study reported that the national vaccination average is 11.7%.

While more S.C. residents are receiving the vaccine, health experts are still recommending standard precautions for everyone (i.e. wearing masks, socially distancing, etc.) until more people have completed their vaccines and numbers continue to drop. Despite these recommendations, the city of North Myrtle Beach decided not to extend the mask ordinance that ends at the of this month — in the midst of spring break travelers heading to the area.

DHEC announced 499 new cases statewide on Monday with a percent positive of 4.7%. No additional deaths were reported.