After spending so much time at home over the last few months, if you are me like me, you may have reservations about going out in the public due to the spread of COVID-19. I found the risk rankings shared recently by Thomas Lamarre, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at The Christ Hospital, to be really helpful in determining which activities were low, medium or high risk for spreading the virus.
First, visiting your doctor for an appointment is low risk, so go get that check -up! Secondly, wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance of six feet lowers the risk for many activities (the further the distance, the lower the risk).
When it comes to visiting your favorite restaurant, Dr. Lamarre says that the COVID-19 risk is moderate to high for indoor dining. Masks cannot be worn while eating, so that increases the risk, but a place with open windows and good ventilation can help lower the risk. Outdoor dining is better, with a low to moderate risk, depending if tables are spaced appropriately, at least six feet apart. Take-out and the drive thru pose a low risk of contracting COVID-19.
Grocery stores have a moderate risk - bigger store and wider aisles are better for social distancing. Shopping malls have a low to moderate risk, depending on crowd size. Crowd sizes make a difference; the bigger the crowd, the higher the risk.
Swimming pools have a low risk as long as you social distance when you are not in the water (this can be tricky with kids). Taking the family to an amusement park has a low to moderate risk - being outside, wearing a mask and social distancing help lower the risk.
Indoor church services have a moderate to high risk, especially if they are large. Big crowds make it difficult to space people apart.
Exercising at a gym has a moderate risk level. It helps if the gym keeps windows and doors open, so that fresh air is circulating.
Outdoor sporting events have a moderate to high risk. Once again, the bigger the crowd, the higher the risk.
Weddings are also high risk. The things that usually happen at weddings, like hugging, dancing and being in close contact, contribute to this.
The biggest takeaways from Dr. Lamarre are that wearing a mask and social distancing have the most impact on stopping the spread of COVID-19. And that we should avoid crowds. There are things I want to do with my kids this summer - now I know which are safer, and which are not a good idea right now.Looking for a healthcare partner to help you keep your family well? SSchedule an appointment online with a primary care physician near you today! Video visits are also available, so you can get the care you need from the comfort of home.