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The sometimes demented, frequently irreverent, and occasionally stupid musings of Ron Hargrove

Which activities put you at the greatest risk of contracting COVID-19? Texas doctors rank them

Texas Medical Association releases COVID-19 risk chart

By Megan Vanselow  [July 8, 2020]

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – The Texas Medical Association released a chart that ranks activities such as pumping gas or sending your kids to school by their COVID-19 risk level.

According to its website, the risk levels are based on input from the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases, who worked from the assumption that – no matter the activity – participants were taking as many safety precautions as they can.

What’s more risky: spending an hour at a playground or grocery shopping? Going to a beach or going camping? The Texas Medical Association weighs in.

The levels were made on the basis that participants were taking as many safety precautions as possible, regardless of the activity, according to the site, including wearing masks, maintaining six-feet of distance and washing hands.

Some local residents say the chart is helpful in deciding if certain activities are worth the risk.

“If people understand why an activity is dangerous if they’re going to go do it they can do it with safety in mind. So if I say ‘ok I want to go to a bar, I’m going to find out why its unsafe, and take steps to protect myself and those around me,” Brevin Earl said.

The list ranks getting your mail, pumping gas and getting takeout from a restaurant as low risk.

More than 30 activities are ranked and assigned a number one through nine, and given the risk level of low risk, low-moderate, moderate risk, moderate-high or high risk.

Among those in the high risk category are going to a bar, attending a church service with more than 500 people, going to a sports stadium or music concert.

According to the chart, sending your child to school, camp or daycare is moderate risk at level six.

When it comes to eating out, the Texas Medical Association says takeout is the safest, low risk option, eating outside at a restaurant is low-moderate risk, eating inside a restaurant is considered moderate-high and eating at a buffet is listed in the high risk category.

The chart also identifies attending a backyard barbecue and having dinner at someone else’s house as moderate risk.

Megan Vanselow is a reporter for KWTW Channel 10 in Bell County, TX.

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