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Flying Safer Than Dining Out and Going to School – COVID-19 Risk Level Rank

MLive, a Michigan-based media company under Advance Publications, asked four public health experts in the state to rank 36 activities by the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Surprisingly, according to the experts, dining at a restaurant and going to school are considered as risky than flying.

The experts scored each activity - 1 for least risky and 10 for riskiest - taking into consideration whether it took place indoors or outdoors, proximity to others, length of potential exposure, the likelihood of compliance and personal risk level.

In general, outdoor activities are generally safer, and according to the experts, it is because the virus becomes less concentrated outside and doesn’t get recirculated around as it could indoors.

The experts also point to exposure time as a factor. Walking by a person on a trail is less likely to spread the virus, compared to sitting in an enclosed space with somebody for hours.

Their scores were then averaged to come up with the ranking:

High risk (7-9)

Bars, large music concerts, sporting events and amusement parks were some of the riskiest activities as they involved large groups of people packed together.

Gyms, churches and food buffets were also risky as they allowed people to congregate closely with each other.

Schools, public pools and basketball games were next up, with the reopening of schools posing a particular challenge to health authorities due to its “system-level impact”.

Average risk (4-6)

In the middle of the pack, eating indoors at restaurants posed an average risk due to the shared ventilation and the fact that customers won’t be wearing masks while eating.

Playgrounds posed a risk because children tend to touch their mouths or cough and sneeze on surfaces, although supervised playgrounds with small numbers of children have a much lower risk.

Aeroplanes had an average risk score of 5, although the experts cautioned that passengers must wear their masks properly and interior surfaces should be wiped down.

"That's actually pretty safe, the air is very well filtered on aeroplanes," McLaren Health Care medical director for infection prevention Dr Dennis Cunningham told MLive.

Going to the mall could be high risk without precautions like limiting the number of people in stores and requiring masks, but if everyone follows the rules, the risk can be quite minimal.

Low risk (1-3)

Getting groceries is pretty safe, especially with stores adding new precautions to keep from becoming a coronavirus hot spot.

Outdoor activities like walking, running and riding a bike with others is a low risk due to limited contact with other people and constant movement, although the risk increases in larger groups.

Going to libraries and museums is also a pretty low risk as these places aren’t typically crowded and often have larger spaces and higher ceilings, which lowers the risk.

And the safest activities? Getting a ‘tapau’ from a restaurant and playing tennis.

With curbside deliveries and contactless payment at many restaurants, take-away was much less risky than eating in.

Tennis, meanwhile, typically involves only two to four people on a court outdoors with plenty of space between the players and of course, with no spectators or on a tournament level.

Source : mlive

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