Post-lockdown period, a key question on everyone’s minds has been what places pose the greatest risk for COVID-19 infection? As reported by Microsoft News, a survey by CivicMeter recently asked more than two dozen epidemiologists to rate the risk of contracting COVID-19 at various U.S. venues on a scale of 1-10.
While many of the places on the list—particularly the indoor ones—are closed here in San Francisco, it’s still helpful information to know as our pandemic response
evolves with time. Here are the top ten riskiest places to visit per the epidemiologists.
1. Bars and Jails/Prisons (tied for 8.85 on the risk scale)
According to MSN & CivicMeter, both bars and jails/prisons tied for the riskiest places to potentially catch coronavirus. A large amount of outbreaks have been linked to jails and prisons, due to the close proximity of those inside of them. Indoor bars also make social distancing very difficult, and also have been linked to
2. Nursing Homes (8.73)
It may come as no surprise to anyone keeping up on the news that nursing homes are also hot zones for coronavirus. Per the MSN article, statistics report that nursing homes and long-term care facilities account for more than 40 percent of all COVID-related deaths, while the CDC states that people living in these places are at a higher risk.
3. Indoor Theaters/Churches (8.15)
With the speaking and singing that occurs during services—and the potential spread of droplets—churches have also risen to the top of the list of the most dangerous places for coronavirus, per the MSN report. The report also highlighted an article by The New York Times that found more than 650 cases have been linked to nearly 40 churches and religious events across the United States since the early days of the pandemic.
4. Restaurants/Indoor Seating (7.54)
Even Dr. Fauci himself told people in a MarketWatch interview to avoid indoor eating altogether, per the MSN report. Asked if dining outdoors was safer, he didn’t
hesitate in answering. “Yes, absolutely. Indoors is much worse than outdoors,” Dr. Fauci replied.
5. Outdoor Stadiums for Large Events (7.54)
With such large numbers of people attending rock concerts, sporting events or other stadium-centric activities, the potential for infection goes through the roof.
More people congregating close together while talking, screaming and—not to mention while potentially losing their inhibitions on alcohol—is a very risky recipe for catching coronavirus per MSN’s piece.
6. Gyms (7.50)
According to MSN’s article, Dr. Fauci told The Washington Post that he would refrain from gym visits at this time—and most epidemiologists agree with him. As some people solely return to fitness studios, virus outbreaks have been reported, including in California.
7. Outside Gatherings That Aren’t Socially Distanced (7.38)
When it comes to gathering together during the pandemic, outside is definitely better than inside—most especially when social distancing as well. Inside gatherings
made social distancing very difficult, as evidenced by graduation parties and summer barbecues being linked to large coronavirus outbreaks, per the MSN article.
8. Airports (6.73)
Although many people might assume airplanes are rife with opportunities for catching coronavirus, it turns out airports are even riskier, given the time spent in close contact with others in security lines and airport terminals with frequently touched surfaces, per the CDC via MSN.
9. Airplane (6.65)
Many might assume the potential to catch coronavirus in the air is what makes airplane travel so risky. In fact, per the MSN report that quoted the CDC, it’s more
about traveling in close proximity to each other. “Social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.”
10. Hospitals (6.24)
Although it might seem as though hospitals are hot zones for coronavirus infection, they are actually safer than many other places due to strictly enforced protocol. Still, they rank in the top ten riskiest places, per MSN.