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I’m a Doctor and Here’s Where You Could Catch COVID

As some parts of America come out of lockdown—or lock down again—you likely have many important questions as to how you can best follow the guidelines and move around in public spaces while minimizing your risk of infection. As a doctor, I wanted to share that there are many simple and effective measures that can be taken to ensure that infection rates remain low. Some spaces have a much higher risk of transmission than others. Here are public spaces ranked in order from the lowest risk of transmission to the highest. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.

1

Parks

woman outdoor wearing medical face mask, social distancing, sitting on a bench, isolated from other people

Risk ranking: 1

Reason: Crowds can make it difficult to maintain distance from others, many high contact surfaces. But being outdoors in wide open spaces is always better than being indoors.

Recommendations: Beware of high-contact surfaces such as gates and metal surfaces and maintain a six-feet of distance where possible, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face.

2

Zoos

Happy mother and daughter watching elephants in zoo.

Risk ranking: 2

Reason: Crowds can make it difficult to maintain distance from others, many high contact surfaces.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible, wash your hands often with soap and water, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face.

3

Museums

Risk ranking: 3

Reason: Crowds can make it difficult to maintain distance from others, many high contact surfaces. There is also an increased risk of transmission if the gallery is poorly ventilated.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible and wear a mask.

4

Galleries

Woman Visiting Art Gallery

Risk ranking: 4

Reason: Crowds can make it difficult to maintain distance from others, many high contact surfaces. There is also an increased risk of transmission if the gallery is poorly ventilated.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible and wear a mask.

5

Amusement Parks

Amusement Park Ride

Risk ranking: 5

Reason: Crowds can make it difficult to maintain distance from others, many high contact surfaces. There is also an increased risk of transmission in indoor spaces with poor ventilation.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible, wash your hands often with soap and water, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face.

6

Places of Worship

many people are worship to God and raised hands

Risk ranking: 6

Reason: It can be difficult to maintain distance in indoor places of worship with many people. There is an increased risk of transmission if the space is not well ventilated. There is also a higher risk of transmission as people produce more respiratory droplets, for example when singing or praying loudly.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible, wash your hands often with soap and water, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, and wear a mask.

7

Shops

Woman shopping at supermarket

Risk ranking: 7

Reason: Can become crowded so it’s difficult to maintain distance from others, there can also be many high contact surfaces, and closed public spaces can increase risk of transmission if there is poor ventilation.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible, wash your hands often with soap and water, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid paying with cash, avoid touching your face, and wear a mask.

8

Hairdressers

A hairdresser, wearing a protective face mask, works in a barber shop

Risk ranking: 8

Reason: Difficult to maintain social distancing, as employees need to work in close proximity to the customers. Also, the same equipment is used on many different people. Many high contact surfaces.

Recommendations: Avoid touching your face, try to maintain social distance as much as possible, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid paying with cash.

9

Restaurants (Indoors)

Two young women at a lunch in a restaurant

Risk ranking: 9

Reason: People are less likely to maintain the recommended social distance, many people in limited space, many high contact surfaces, closed public space can increase risk of transmission if it is poorly ventilated. 

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible, wash your hands often with soap and water, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wear a mask when you’re not eating if possible, avoid paying with cash, avoid touching your face.

10

Cinema

people eating popcorn in movie theater, focus on hands

Risk ranking: 10

Reason: Close contact with others in a limited space for an extended period of time. Higher risk of transmission as people produce more respiratory droplets, such as when laughing. Many high contact surfaces where the virus can survive for up to three days, for example on stainless steel and plastic. 

Recommendations: Maintain six feet of distance from others, wear a mask, avoid touching your face, wash your hands often with soap and water, bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid paying with cash.

11

Public Transport

sinesswoman wearing protective mask while traveling by public transportation.

Risk ranking: 11

Reason: Close contact with others in limited space. Many high-contact surfaces where the virus can survive for up to three days, for example stainless steel and plastic. You can come into contact with travelers from other areas on public transport, increasing and spreading community transmission.

Recommendations: Maintain social distance as much as possible, avoid standing or sitting face to face with other people, avoid touching your face, carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use before and after using public transport, avoid paying with cash where possible, and wear a mask.

12

Bars

A woman ordering drinks in bar.

Risk ranking: 12

Reason: There is a high risk of coronavirus transmission, as people tend to produce more respiratory droplets, due to speaking for longer periods and more loudly that usual. Sharing drinks is also a risk factor. As people get drunk, hand hygiene can become less of a concern, which increases the risk of transmission further, as well as being physically close to each other and forgetting to maintain the recommended social distance.

Recommendations: Avoid if possible, stay outside and try to minimize contact with people you don’t know. Take an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

13

Sorry to Ruin Your Fun But, Yes, Bars and Restaurants are That Dangerous

crowded bar

As a rule of thumb, you should try and avoid crowded places as coronavirus is mainly spread through person-to-person contact. Bars, restaurants and public transport are some of the public spaces with the highest risk of coronavirus transmission. When in these places, it is important to try and avoid sitting face-to-face with other people, avoid touching your face and always carry an alcohol-based sanitizer with you. When indoors, wear a mask.

Generally, the places with the highest risk of coronavirus infection are indoor spaces with poor ventilation and many touchpoints. Other risky spaces include bars, restaurants, places of worship, community pools, beaches, public transport, and large outdoor gatherings. Shops can also be high-risk due to a high volume of people and poor ventilation.

14

How to Stay Healthy Where You Are

Girl washing her hands under running water in a black washstand

Firstly, it is important to always be aware of local and national health authority guidelines. There are also some simple precautions you can take to help reduce risk of infection. It is important to:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, or clean your hands using an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and other people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with your bent elbow or a tissue
  • Wear a face mask when possible
  • Avoid crowds

And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Jonas Nilsen is a medical doctor and an expert in digital health. He has a medical degree from University of Copenhagen and a degree in Innovation Management from Harvard Business School. Dr. Nilsen is the co-founder of Practio.

The post I’m a Doctor and Here’s Where You Could Catch COVID appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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