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Delta variant: This online tool shows the chances someone at your Thanksgiving gathering has COVID-19

The likelihood of someone having COVID-19 at a 20-person Thanksgiving event in NYC is 11%. In Big Horn, Montana, it’s 74%.

Delta variant: This online tool shows the chances someone at your Thanksgiving gathering has COVID-19
[Source Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels]

Thanksgiving is just days away and with it comes parties, dinners, and gatherings. And while experts say the fully vaccinated should enjoy the holiday with their friends and family, the case and infection rates of COVID-19 remains at high levels in most of America, which means it’s possible someone at your gathering could have COVID and not know it.

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But just what are the chances of someone at your gathering being infected with COVID-19? A free online tool from the Georgia Institute of Technology can give you an idea (via the Springfield News-Leader). Called the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, the tool shows you the chances that at least one person has COVID depending on the size of your gathering.

[Photo: Georgie Institute of Technology]
The tool calculates this risk percentage for every county in America based on the size of the event you are attending and how widespread COVID-19 is in that county. For example, given the current case rate in New York City, if you were attending an event there with:

  • 10 people (such as a dinner party) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 6%.
  • 15 people (such as a fitness class) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 8%.
  • 20 people (such as a coffee shop) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 11%.
  • 25 people (such as a classroom) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 13%.
  • 50 people (such as a supermarket) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 25%.
  • 100 people (such as a movie theater) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 43%.

But again, the chances that someone is infected depend on your location and the local case rates. So if we look at Big Horn, Montana, if you were attending an event there with:

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  • 10 people (such as a dinner party) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 49%.
  • 15 people (such as a fitness class) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 64%.
  • 20 people (such as a coffee shop) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 74%.
  • 25 people (such as a classroom) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 82%.
  • 50 people (such as a supermarket) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is 97%.
  • 100 people (such as a movie theater) the chances at least 1 person would be infected is over 99%.

Quite the difference, huh?

The tool is a great way to get an assessment of how dangerous any event you are planning to go to is before you go, so you can make a better-informed judgment as to your personal risks and the risks for those you love. And as the project itself points out, “You can reduce the risk that one case becomes many by wearing a mask, distancing, and gathering outdoors in smaller groups.”

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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