Key findings:

  • Georgia, South Carolina and California are the riskiest states for Spring Break travel.
  • Nationally, 11.7% of the population are fully vaccinated.
  • Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota have the highest vaccination rates.
  • Hawaii, Oregon and Kansas have the lowest COVID-19 cases in the last seven days per 100K (3/17/2021).
  • New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have the highest COVID-19 cases per 100K.
  • Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts have the fewest seniors at risk with underlying health conditions.
  • West Virginia, Missouri and Michigan ranked 2020’s safest driving states in our fifth annual Best and Worst Drivers by State.

It’s been a long and arduous year, with much anticipation as we passed the one-year mark of America’s first COVID-19 case. Each year during March and April, thousands of people load up their cars or hop on flights to find warm and relaxing spring break destinations. This year seems to be no different. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), over the last few weeks, U.S. airports have experienced a record number of Americans traveling since the beginning of the pandemic.

Although COVID-19 vaccinations have become available and we are seeing an increase in adults being vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still advising against travel and considering the risks involved. Despite the CDC’s warnings, thousands of people descended upon Florida for Spring Break 2021.

Dr. Fauci warned people to be careful amid pandemic travel. He said, “We want people to have a good time on spring break, but don't put your guard down completely. Just be prudent a bit longer. We are going in the right direction, we’re almost there.”

As businesses slowly begin to reopen, COVID-19 cases continue to rise. According to the New York Times database, around 30 million people across the country have tested positive for the virus and 536,400 people have died.

Depending on where you’re traveling, some destinations may be riskier than others. Our research team at QuoteWizard compiled a number of travel risk factors to see which states were considered riskiest to visit this Spring Break. We looked at dangerous driving comparisons to evaluate road travel risk and compared those figures with COVID-19-related risk factors. Overall, we evaluated eight risk factors in each state to compile our ranking of the riskiest states to travel to this holiday season. These factors include:

  • Seniors with underlying health conditions
  • Dangerous driving states: accidents, speeding and DUI rankings
  • Hospital capacity
  • Adults vaccinated against COVID-19
  • COVID-19 cases and death rates
Rank State Seniors with health conditions Accidents Speeding DUI Adult vaccinations Hospital capacity Case rate Death rate
1 Georgia 11 6 21 39 2 6 31 11
2 South Carolina 15 4 16 48 13 11 9 22
3 California 39 14 1 23 7 13 47 10
4 Virginia 32 9 20 20 33 17 24 2
5 New Jersey 38 8 17 33 29 27 1 6
6 Delaware 24 19 3 42 26 36 7 7
7 Rhode Island 20 1 45 36 12 30 3 21
8 Tennessee 4 25 10 34 3 39 16 37
9 Mississippi 5 49 24 31 9 15 25 13
10 Kentucky 2 39 44 10 22 34 18 4
11 Utah 43 5 49 14 1 8 23 30
12 Arkansas 6 44 15 27 6 33 42 1
13 New York 27 29 2 41 10 50 2 14
14 Texas 26 31 41 44 4 7 21 5
15 Idaho 33 27 35 11 20 4 15 36
16 North Carolina 8 35 31 28 23 10 22 29
17 Ohio 14 7 36 12 25 47 33 15
18 Alabama 3 33 25 49 5 32 35 8
19 Florida 13 15 48 50 15 25 8 17
20 Louisiana 12 18 7 35 18 46 41 16
21 Pennsylvania 19 30 37 17 11 43 10 26
22 Wyoming 42 26 11 1 41 1 40 31
23 Iowa 40 17 28 9 40 21 26 18
24 Vermont 30 22 9 21 37 24 13 44
25 Nevada 25 37 33 24 17 19 28 19
26 New Hampshire 31 20 26 32 16 23 12 42
27 Washington 28 12 12 18 31 9 46 46
28 Arizona 17 40 39 25 32 5 37 9
29 Colorado 49 21 14 13 27 18 17 47
30 Indiana 9 23 40 16 30 29 38 27
31 South Dakota 46 34 13 3 48 14 19 38
32 Maryland 29 2 19 43 28 35 27 33
33 Oklahoma 7 47 38 37 35 22 32 3
34 Oregon 23 16 22 30 24 12 49 48
35 Kansas 18 36 18 40 14 28 48 25
36 Massachusetts 48 3 32 47 36 45 4 12
37 Michigan 10 50 42 22 19 40 6 39
38 Maine 22 11 34 26 42 31 30 34
39 Alaska 44 28 23 5 50 20 11 50
40 Connecticut 35 10 30 38 44 48 5 28
41 Minnesota 50 38 27 6 34 26 14 43
42 North Dakota 36 32 5 2 47 37 39 40
43 Wisconsin 47 24 6 7 38 38 43 35
44 Missouri 16 48 8 45 8 49 45 20
45 West Virginia 1 46 47 19 45 44 20 23
46 Nebraska 34 13 46 4 39 42 29 45
47 Montana 41 41 43 8 43 2 34 41
48 New Mexico 21 43 50 15 49 16 44 24
49 Hawaii 45 45 4 29 46 3 50 49
50 Illinois 37 42 29 46 21 41 36 32

Methodology

QuoteWizard analyzed six safety metrics and the most recent (March 16, 2021) Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) data on United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State per 100K in the last seven days from all 50 states to determine which states are safest for pandemic spring break travel. Each metric was ranked on a 1-50 scale, with an ascending score representing the least safe to safest conditions for specific state travel. We then determined each state’s safety ranking by averaging across all metric scores to calculate its overall ranking and used the resulting scores to rank-order each of the states.

Seniors with underlying health conditions: We analyzed CDC prevalence data that looks at seniors with high-risk COVID-19-related health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Our findings suggest West Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama are the states with the highest rates of seniors with high-risk COVID-19-related health conditions.

Hospital capacity: To evaluate health care capacity, we analyzed Health and Human Services (HHS) and Kaiser Family Foundation data, looking at IUC beds and physicians per 1,000 people in each state. In a follow-up analysis, we also compared HHS data for estimated ICU beds in use. This capacity figure is intended to show the total current capacity of ICU beds as of November 13. Wyoming, Montana and Hawaii were found to have the lowest hospital capacities.

Adult COVID-19 vaccination rates: QuoteWizard analyzed CDC data on adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Our ranking is based on states that had the lowest to highest percentages of vaccinated adults as of March 16th, 2021.

Dangerous driving states: These rankings are compiled from QuoteWizard’s annual best and worst driver study. Each state's driver quality ranking is based on the rate of accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs. In the 2020 best and worst driver study, Wyoming, Virginia and Colorado drivers were rated the most dangerous.

COVID-19 cases and death rates: We looked at the most recent (Wednesday, March 17) CDC data on United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State per 100K in the last seven days from all 50 states. New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island were found to have the highest rates of cases and deaths per 100K people.