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The policies and politics of COVID 19 in the Mountain States

  1. Most states have yet to conduct an after-action report to determine which policies were most effective.                                             

  2. Mountain States Policy Center conducted a simple regression analysis to find what efforts, if any, correlate with a decrease in transmissions.                                     

  3. An analysis shows facial coverings were effective in reducing transmissions in every state except Washington.                             

  4. The pandemic economic shutdown lowered GDP 5.71% in the states of Idaho, Montana, Washington, Utah and Wyoming.                                 

  5. Only the restrictions on internal movement and international travel controls share the same negative correlation across all models.



Throughout the United States, federal, state, and local-level governments addressed the growing concerns around the deadly virus with a myriad of policies. Ranging from borderline totalitarian control to more laissez-faire approaches, each state followed its own trajectory, and the results are mixed. Even international comparisons of COVID-19 management by country have yielded little information.

Despite early promises of politicians and bureaucrats, one individual regulation has not completely controlled the spread, nor has one effort resulted in complete eradication. Further complicating matters are the negative consequences from COVID-19 regulations – education deficiencies, economic turmoil, supply shortages, and mental health challenges.

Ignoring the results of COVID-19 containment measures by state only sacrifices future healthcare needs to soothe many politicians who are unwilling to acknowledge wasted efforts. Acknowledging regulatory failures and identifying areas of success can guide policy makers and health workers in future disease management scenarios.


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