Where you’re most likely to get COVID-19

What’s riskier?

Sitting in the waiting room at your GP or going to a library?

Putting fuel in your car or getting takeaway food from a restaurant?

Hugging or shaking hands or attending a wedding or funeral?

Having a pint at the pub or going to church or some other religious service?

Some of you may have found the answers easy, others may have been challenged or answered completely incorrectly.

Luckily, new research from the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases has revealed the places and activities that increase your risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.

Handwashing and wearing a mask may be good preventatives, but even these hygiene practices may not save you from being in the wrong place at the wrong time

The research is based on the assumption that you are taking as many safety precautions as you can, no matter the activity.

The task force asked member physicians to rank places and activities based on how risky they are for transmission of the coronavirus.

And the result? A comprehensive guide created by health professionals and physicians in the task force that effectively tells you where you are safe and where you are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

The task force used a scale of 1 to 10 to rate the level of infection risk, with a rating of 1 indicating the lowest level of risk and 10 indicating the highest level.

Those afraid of receiving and checking the letterbox can rest easier, knowing now that ‘Opening the mail’ was the only activity that received a score of ‘1’.

Previously concerning activities, such as putting fuel in your car or ordering takeaway food scored a ‘2’, but other activities, such as going to a bar and hugging or attending a sporting event were considerably more dangerous.

No activity rated a 10, but eight activities rated a 9 or 8 on the scale. They are:

  • Going to a bar: 9
  • Attending a religious service with 500-plus worshippers: 9
  • Going to a sports stadium: 9
  • Attending a large music concert: 9
  • Going to a movie theatre: 8
  • Going to an amusement park: 8
  • Working out at a gym: 8
  • Eating at a buffet: 8


Seven other activities rated a 7 on the 10-point scale. They are:

  • Going to a hair salon or barbershop
  • Eating in a restaurant (inside)
  • Attending a wedding or funeral
  • Traveling by plane
  • Playing basketball
  • Playing football
  • Hugging or shaking hands when greeting a friend


Even if you are “following currently recommended safety protocols when possible”, these activities still present the increased risk levels stated above, says the task force.

But if you do have to undertake any of these activities, at least now you know your risk level, and armed with this knowledge, you can exercise even more caution.

Many may question the dangers posed by COVID-19, but there is plenty of evidence to prove it poses a serious threat to all of us.

Knowing your own personal risk level is crucial to keeping you, your family and friends safer from infection.

Younger, healthier people may have less to worry about than older people or those with underlying health issues, but knowing where they have been before they come into contact with you may make you less vulnerable, says the task force.

Regardless of your personal risk level, there are things all of us should do to help lower the rate of infection in our community.

Are you surprised by any of these activities’ risk levels? Are you relieved learning that something you previously thought was high risk may not be so concerning?

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