AUSTIN, Texas (KEYE) - There's a new way to figure out which activities put people most at risk of contracting coronavirus.
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) ranked three dozen daily activities from low to high risk. It's a way to cut through the clutter of information and decide which activities are in your coronavirus comfort zone.
For example, the chart ranks whether opening mail or going to a bar is a riskier activity. A team of physicians from the TMA COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infectious Diseases puts the two activities on opposite ends of a color-coded Know Your Risk During COVID-19 chart. Bars score a nine for putting people at high risk of getting COVID-19. Getting the mail is ranked a one which means the risk is low.
“We found that there was a lack of information,” said Dr. Erica Swegler who is a physician on the TMA COVID-19 Task Force.
Dr. Swegler says many people don't know if it's safer to stay at a hotel for two nights or to work for a week in an office building. TMA physicians figured out that it's safer to stay at the hotel and say this chart puts many other common risks into perspective. “What the task force saw was a lack of putting out something like this as a visual that people could understand given all the information that is out there,” said Dr. Swegler.
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According to the TMA, hugging a friend or shaking someone's hand is much riskier than sitting in a doctor's waiting room. Golfers can spend an afternoon on the greens knowing they're slightly safer than if they went swimming in a public pool. And, on a scale of one to ten, eating outside at a restaurant scores a four, but go inside and the risk bumps up to a seven.
“Every single outdoor activity is lower risk than anything indoors,” said Dr. Swegler.
Some risks, like pumping gas, have been re-evaluated now that COVID-19 has been shown to be more of an airborne virus with less risk of spreading by contact. Filling a gas tank is ranked a 2 along with getting restaurant takeout, playing tennis and going camping.
“People will have to decide what risk they think is reasonable for themselves and their families to take in order to live life,” said Dr. Swegler.
All these rankings assume people are wearing masks, washing their hands and staying six-feet apart.
To see a larger version of the chart, click here.