36 Different Activities Are Rated for Coronavirus Risk
Four infectious disease experts rated different activities and your risk of contracting the coronavirus.
MLive spoke to four doctors who specialize in infectious diseases. The doctors pointed to five factors when assessing the risk of an activity: whether it’s inside or outside; proximity to others; exposure time; likelihood of compliance; and personal risk level.
They used the good old standard scale of 1-10, 10 being the riskiest and 1 being the least risky of the activities. We will start with the riskiest of activities!
Obviously, this is not a fail proof ranking, because anyone can have COVID-19 and be asymptomatic. But it's a good guide as the world starts to reopen.
RISK LEVEL 9
- Bars - the more you drink, the less careful you become.
- Large Music Concerts - even if the concert is outside, that many people so close can spread the disease.
RISK LEVEL 8
- Sports Stadiums - the mixing of crowds AND alcohol
- Gyms - heavy breathing could release more respiratory droplets
- Amusement Parks - parks have their hands full to try and keep them safe. From sanitizing rides to keeping the number of participants low
- Churches - the close proximity and the singing
- Buffets - not as risky as a bar, but with shared serving utensils, it's easy to spread
RISK LEVEL 7
- Basketball - usually outdoor activities are lower, but with contact sports...well, it's a whole different ball game. You probably won't wear a mask and you are smashing into each other.
- Swimming Pools - how are you supposed to wear a mask? There is not enough data about how the chlorine in a pool affects the virus. Most experts believe that there is not enough to kill the virus.
- Schools - getting kids to socially distance, wear a mask or properly wash their hands. Add time spent together and all inside, it's a bad combo.
RISK LEVEL 6
- Casinos - crowds, alcohol and loud talking.
- Indoor Seating Restaurants - Can't wear a mask and eat. Plus that recycled air is not helpful
- Playgrounds - experts are not a fan right now because kids touch their face so often and the equipment can't be cleaned
- Hair Salons, Barber Shops - can't cut hair 6 feet away, but you can take precautions like everyone wears a mask, and you wait in your car not the waiting room.
- Pontoon Boat Rides - why pontoon boats? Because they are big and can get packed, plus alcohol and loud talking
- Movie Theaters - they were not built for social distancing. They will need to figure out how to space out people and make it so that you don't have to crawl over someone to get to your seat.
RISK LEVEL 5
- In House Dinner Parties - closed area, time together, alcohol and talking
- Airplanes - experts disagreed on the dangers of airplane travel. Some thought it was low risk with a mask, others however, thought the risk was high because people often wear their mask wrong.
- Backyard BBQs - if you can keep the social distancing and mask wearing, it's not bad
- Malls - this will all depend on limiting people, risks can be very low - higher if it gets crowded
- Beaches - same situation with crowding. Limited crowds will make beaches pretty safe
- Bowling - if you can clean the balls (careful) the console, counters and chairs it helps. Plus, keep every other lane closed.
RISK LEVEL 4
- Dentists Office - another area where experts disagreed. Dentists already wear masks, it's the procedures that can spread the virus if you are asymptomatic. The advice at this point is that if you don't have to go, avoid for now.
- Walking in Busy Downtown - this is fairly low risk, it's all about how crowded it is. But this combines walking and outside which is very low risk.
- Offices - these are actually lower risk than malls because the rules can be enforced more easily. Stay your distance and wear a mask
- Doctors Waiting Rooms - changes are being made to limit seating, and some offices are having you wait in your car until your appointment.
- Outdoor Dining in Restaurants - Everyone agrees that eating outside is way better than eating inside.
RISK LEVEL 3
- Grocery Shopping - stores have a done a great job of controlling crowds. Now it's up to us to comply and wear our masks!
- Camping - family unit is very safe. Overnight kids camps are not.
- Hotels - the biggest risk is check-in and any time there is a crowd
- Golfing - small groups, no contact and outside!
- Libraries and Museums - Not typically super crowded and some libraries are even doing curbside pick up
RISK LEVEL 2
- Going for a Walk, Run or Bike Ride With Others - being outside and not near people for long periods of time
- Getting Gas - the person before you may have left germs, but coronavirus is spread through the air. Using hand sanitizer after couldn't hurt
RISK LEVEL 1
- Tennis - spacing is the whole point of the game
- Restaurant Take Out - experts have little concern about getting take out. Especially with all the extra precautions that most places are taking.