SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – With Thanksgiving just days away, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn encourages Utahns to check their risk of being exposed to COVID-19, before going to a holiday event.
State and county COVID-19 data is being recorded daily and Georgia Tech University created an online COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Tool to show the number of people at an event that can be put at risk for contracting COVID-19.
“For example, if you live in Salt Lake County, and you have 15 people coming over for Thanksgiving, there’s over a 50% chance that one of those individuals will have COVID,” Dunn said. “Which then of course, it magnifies the ability for COVID to spread beyond that group of 15 and into the community and impacting our holidays throughout the winter and school returning in January, and our businesses, etc.”
The interactive map suggests (as of Monday) if a person has 50 people at an event – for a majority of Utah – data suggests there’s a 75 to 99 percent chance that at least one person has the virus.
That percentage drops to one to 25 in a group of 10 people.
Dunn said this tool is used by health officials to model out risk in communities nationwide, and this holiday season, she encourages for people to use it too.
“If you’re thinking about going to an event or having an event at your home for the holidays, look at that tool, using it for how many people are going to be at your event, what county you live in, and it will really help you understand – hopefully – that risk of somebody having COVID at that event,” she said.
Creators of the online tool write that individuals can reduce the risk in their area by wearing a mask, social distancing, and gathering outdoors in small groups.
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