Top Five Worst Areas for Covid.

We are now entering the post-pandemic period, and as excited as we all are, we cannot afford to forget the hell Covid-19 has taken us through. And though the allure of things going back to “normal” maybe, it is perfectly okay to be cautious as we transition into this new phase.

During this period, one of the most asked questions has been what places pose the most significant risk for Covid-19 infection. Civicmeter, on a scale of one to ten, recently asked more than two dozen epidemiologists to rate the risk of contracting Covid-19 in the U.S.

These are the riskiest places, as reported by Microsoft News, ranked by the epidemiologists.

  1. Bars and Jails/ Prisons.

Bars and jails/prisons are tied as the most making riskiest places to contract the Covid-19., scoring a whopping 8.85 on the risk scale. In the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. prison populations had an infection rate five to six-time higher than free-living populations, with mortality rates two to three times higher. Lack of personal protective equipment, lack of adequate sanitation, mistrust of medical personnel, and inadequate testing in prisons are to blame for the heightened risk. Even post-pandemic, it is tough to maintain social distance in both bars and jails/prisons.

  • Nursing homes.

Nursing homes have made it to the news as one of the riskiest places to contract Covid-19. They score an 8.73 on the risk scale, and it is easy to see why they are at the top of the list. In a cross-sectional study involving 15,307 U.S. nursing homes, it was found that approximately 44 percent of Covid-19 cases and 40 percent of Covid-19 deaths happen in nursing homes.

In this Friday, April 17, 2020, photo, Dr. Gabrielle Beger, left, prepares to take a nose-swab sample from Lawrence McGee, as she works with a team of University of Washington medical providers conducting testing for the new coronavirus at Queen Anne Healthcare, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Seattle. Sending “drop teams” from University of Washington Medicine to conduct universal testing at skilled nursing facilities in collaboration with public health officials is one aspect of the region’s approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Indoor Theaters/Churches

With Covid-19 restrictions, going to theaters and churches was forbidden. As Americans enter into a phase where access to these places is permitted, they should remember that indoor theaters and churches scored an 8.15 on the risk scale—the risk stemming from the speaking, interacting, and the lack of adequate social distancing in these places.

  • Restaurants/ Outdoor stadiums for large events.

Restaurants and outdoor stadiums tied at 7.54 on the risk scale. Indoor dining, as intimate as it is, poses a significant risk of getting infected with Covid-19 as social distance and not wearing masks as people eat increases the risk of infection. A study published last year by South Korea in the Journal of Korean Medical Science suggested that the coronavirus can travel further than the 6 feet distance we must keep when in public.

  • Gyms.

Gyms scored a 7.50 on the risk scale. While you might want to work out in a gym, it might be a safer alternative to work out from home if you are not vaccinated. And if you are vaccinated, houstonmethodist.org recommends that you avoid peak hours, wipe down equipment before use, avoid crowded sections of the gym and remember to wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes.

As vaccination rates increase, the end of the pandemic may feel within reach. However, the pandemic is not behind us, and as such, you must take it upon yourself to protect yourself and those around you. It does not mean that you completely ignore social situations; you have to be cautious—wear a mask in crowded places, maintain social distance and sanitize!

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