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Where Are You Most Likely To Contract COVID-19?

December 28, 2020

To protect the health of you and your loved ones, it is imperative to weigh the risk level of the places you plan to visit during the pandemic. 

In general, coronavirus is most likely to spread in indoor environments with limited fresh air flow, where large numbers of people can gather for longer than ten minutes of interactions, and where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing.

When planning your future public outings, experts recommend avoiding these everyday places where infection rates are the highest. 

Incredibly, researchers found that 80 percent of COVID cases were contracted in these places, which only account for 10 percent of locations people visit. 

Interestingly, this information was mined from data from mobile phones that track the whereabouts of users.

The research may help people plan more effectively how to sidestep their risk of infection, but it is important to note that it does have its faults. 

Case in point, the data results are from a simulation and not real-life situations, as well as researchers did not look at all the places people visit on a daily basis.

At this very moment, there are lockdowns all over the country, but an overview as to where you can most likely contract the coronavirus is paramount to know when it does come time for reopens to eventually happen. 

Table Of Contents:

1. Public Event Spaces: Churches, Concert Halls, Theater

2. Public Transportation 

3. Hair/Nail Salons and Gyms 

4. Places of Work 

5. Restaurants and Bars

6. Large Outdoor Gatherings

1. Public Event Spaces: Churches, Concert Halls, Theater

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source has warned against attending gatherings of 10 or more people as a particular risk for COVID-19 transmission.

Officials say that is because these gatherings offer more opportunities to come in contact with a person who has the virus. 

These gatherings also are less likely to have proper physical distancing.

Music concerts, plays and religious services are among this group.

2. Public Transportation 

Transportation, whether it is a  subway, bus, train, or airplane, is another confined space where it is hard to maintain physical distance.

You are also likely to have prolonged exposure to other people, making it especially high risk.

In major urban centers, these transit systems are essential and often overcrowded even with social distancing measures in place, it is a confined area of space leading to the potential exposure of COVID-19.

3. Hair/Nail Salons and Gyms

Hair salons have become a lightning rod for people who want businesses to reopen, but they might be one of the highest risk places you can venture.

That does not mean there are not relatively safe ways to get a cut or style.

This includes requiring the stylist to wear a protective mask, face shield, gloves and protective gown.

The client must also wear a face mask, at the same time the salon should offer a gown and gloves for better protection.

Even if the salon sanitizes all tools and stations between clients and limits the number of people in the salon it is still an airborne virus so precautions must be taken.

The gym is in the same category for the same reasons more or less.

Even with policies in place to wipe down and sterilize gym equipment after using it, the potential is just the same with an airborne virus.

4. Places of Work 

Many workplaces are crowded and can have poor ventilation, and this is why they are particularly high risk.

Businesses should provide training on the proper way to wear a protective face mask as well as how to safely dispose of gloves and any other personal protective equipment (PPE).

Social distancing must be monitored, and the business must allow employees to have a safe way to share any concerns about improper health behaviour among their colleagues.

PPE should be made available to employees to help reduce the chance of contracting the coronavirus.

5. Restaurants and Bars

Most of us miss socializing with friends over dinner and a drink, but experts say bars are among the worst places to be during a pandemic — in part because they are designed to encourage close quarters.

The highest risk environments would be indoors with poor air/HVAC systems, with an inability to maintain 6-foot spacing accompanied by loud talking or yelling.

The most common example would be a crowded restaurant or bar with people having to speak loudly because of the noise and either unmasked or frequently removing the mask to eat or drink.

Wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing would help limit your risk here, but given the nature of a restaurant or bar, that could be impractical.

6. Large Outdoor Gatherings

While the outdoors is generally safer than indoors thanks to nature’s natural ventilation, big crowds such as those at a birthday party, wedding or a soccer game still pose a serious risk.

As a crowd can gather, you will likely be in a position where you will have to ask others to take a step back and give you a safe space, as some people will not be wearing masks or social distancing properly.

The reality is there are still people who do not follow mask-wearing and social distancing in public, therefore they are putting other people at risk

It is best just to avoid the situation altogether. 

Yes, there are lockdowns happening now, and no we are not going to the regular places that we have visited in recent months. Eventually, those places that we so missed are going to reopen and life will restart, but when they do be safe and smart and always protect yourself and your loved ones.

*This article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Please follow the advice of your local health authorities when making decisions about your own health and the people around you.
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