Los Angeles

Overall, California is ranked average for its ability to handle and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. A new study from Wallet Hub analyzed the state’s aggressiveness in combatting the virus, considering the availability of public health laboratories per capita, tested cases of COVID-19 per capita, quality of public health operating systems and population density. While the state ranked poorly in some areas and high in others, overall, California is somewhere in the middle.

“Overall, California ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of its response to COVID-19. Some of its stronger metrics include having the largest share of workers with access to paid sick leave, and the state being among the few who have activated the National Guard in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” Jill Gonzalez of Wallet Hub tells GlobeSt.com. “The potentially high economic impact that this health crisis will have on the state is what caused California to be further down in the rankings.”

In public health emergency preparedness funding per capita, the state ranked the lowest in the country, number 50, while in other areas, like share of workers with access to paid sick leave, the state ranked first in the nation. “We calculated the PHEP funding amount per capita, and California ranked second to last,” says Gonzalez. “This can have an explanation in the fact that California is the most populated US state. In terms of the public hospital system quality, the state ranked 10h lowest. This is because only about 68% of patients gave their hospital a high rating.”

Although California is average is combatting the virus, the economic impact of the outbreak will be among the most significant in the country. “According to Wallet Hub’s analysis, California will be among the states most impacted economically by the current health crisis,” says Gonzalez. “This is because a large share of the population works in sectors that will be most affected, such as arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services. In addition, the state has one of the highest part-time to full-time employment workforce ratios.”

While California could improve its ability to handle a pandemic, these ranking are likely to have little impact on future investment. In the future, it is also unlikely that investors will start considering these needs. “Typically, investors are not influenced very much by the way authorities react to crisis situations,” says Gonzalez. “We’ll see if this holds true in this case. They mostly look at things like taxation, the real estate market or infrastructure.”