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Coronavirus

Is it safe to go out? Real-time COVID map calculates the risk where you live

A huge debate on whether it’s safe to go back out in public has been raging for weeks, if not months. Even though COVID-19 cases are spiking in many states across the country, some are going back to life as normal.

That’s why amusement park fans were excited to find out Disney World in Florida is open for business again after shutting down in mid-March. To try and lure people back to the “Happiest Place On Earth,” Disney put out a welcome back video that’s honestly pretty creepy. Tap or click here to see it and find out what safety measures have been implemented.

While visiting an amusement park may seem out of the question right now, there are places that are actually necessary to visit like the grocery store. And what about sending kids back to school this fall? Is it safe?

The answer is tricky and different for everyone depending on where you live. Thankfully, a new tool is out that can help determine your risk.

I miss hanging out with friends, but is it worth the risk?

At this point, we all miss going shopping with friends or sharing a pint at our favorite local brewery. Yes, this is personal. And, let’s face it, there are only show many TV shows to stream. Tap or click here for binge-worthy programming just added to Netflix.

But boredom shouldn’t be enough of a reason to put your health in danger. Some states have seen a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases just this week.

RELATED: Warning: These toxic hand sanitizers have killed and blinded people

So, if you’re worried about going out for dinner or attending a neighbor’s house party you’re not alone. If you live in a COVID hotspot and there will be tons of people gathering, there’s a good chance someone there is infected.

The good news is there is now a way to calculate the risks thanks to the Georgia Institute of Technology. Its COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool lets you find out the level of risk of attending different gatherings, taking into account location and number of attendees.

How to use the risk assessment planning tool

This tool is very cool and easy to use. Before we dive into how to use it, keep in mind the CDC warns the number of people infected with COVID at any given moment is actually 10 times that of reported cases.

CDC Director Robert Redfield told reporters at the end of June there were 2.4 million confirmed cases in the U.S. but the number was realistically closer to 24 million based on antibody tests. Georgia Tech’s risk assessment tool takes this into account when calculating your risks for coming into contact with an infected person.

You may also like: FBI warns scammers are stealing sensitive info with fake COVID tests

Now, onto using the calculator. To begin, tap or click here to visit the site hosting the tool.

The risk level is the estimated chance (0 to 100%) that at least one COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event.

Begin by choosing an event size. You can select anywhere from 10 to 10,000 attendees. Do this by sliding the toggle under “Event Size” found on the left side of the page.

After you’ve chosen an event size, hover your cursor over the U.S. map on the county you’re curious about. Each county in every state is represented, so you can easily research any location in the U.S.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Let’s look at the Arizona county Komando headquarters is located in, Maricopa. At the time this article was written, if you attend a gathering of just 10 people in Maricopa County there is a 57% chance someone there has COVID-19.

Change the number of people to 25 and the risk jumps to an 88% chance of an infected attendee. Even scarier, visit a place where 100 people have gathered and there is greater than 99% chance someone there has COVID-19.

RELATED: One thing you must do before going out to eat

Have you ever been to a grocery store with less than 100 people inside? If you live in a small town, that number isn’t quite so high, but still. It makes grocery delivery and curbside pickup seem a lot more appealing, huh?

If you do decide to order groceries online, there are still some precautions you need to take. Tap or click here to banish germs from your deliveries.

Those are just a couple of examples from Arizona. You can use the tool to find out how risky gatherings are in your area, too. It’s really eye-opening and might make you rethink heading out for non-essential reasons like walking around Target just to kill time.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.

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