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How Risky Does the Pandemic Make Your Weekend Plans? These Doctors Made You a Chart

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Wanting to get out of the house this weekend but worry about your risks of contracting — or transmitting — the coronavirus? Here’s something helpful: a group of medical doctors with expertise in Covid-19 and other infectious diseases created a color-coded chart that ranks your risk when engaging various common activities.

The Texas Medical Association created the chart, included in the article below, by consulting with the doctors on its coronavirus task force and its infectious diseases committee. The Dallas Morning News interviewed Dr. Mark Casanova, a TMA member who serves on the task force, and he explained that they considered five specific factors: if the activity was indoors or outdoors, how long you might be exposed to other people, how close you would get to other people, how likely people would be to comply with safety precautions like wearing face masks, and your personal risk level.

In general, the more time you spend in a confined indoor space in close proximity with people who aren’t in your household, the higher your risk. Picking up takeout from your favorite restaurant is ranked a 2, one of the lowest possible risks, compared to dining there. Eating at a restaurant’s outdoor seating areas gets a 4, dining inside gets a 7, and eating at a buffet gets an 8.

Similarly, working out inside a gym is far more risky than going for a run or bike ride outside — ranked a 9 versus a 3.

One example Casanova gave was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, ranked a 4, but the risk could be even lower if the doctor spaced appointments apart or otherwise limited the number of people allowed in the waiting room at one time.

Besides going to the gym, activities with the highest risks included going to theme parks, movie theaters, large music concerts, sports stadiums, large religious services, and bars.

 

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Created by the Texas Medical Association.

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