COVID-19 risk chart divides low and high-risk activities

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A new chart is ranking activities by the amount of potential risk to consumers, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

From opening mail, to getting take-out, and pumping gas.

These are all activities considered low risk by the Texas Medical Association, according to this chart.

Texas Medical Association

El Paso County Public Health says it’s a good general outline to follow, but we must be conscientious and give ourselves the opportunity to intervene and stop the transmission of the virus when we can.

“If you can pay remotely before you pick up your takeout food, if you can just handle your own card in the scanner and not be passing things back and forth, that is always wiser,” said Dr. Robin Johnson, Medical Director for El Paso County Public Health.

But if you pay with cash and are aware of when and how frequently you’re touchng surfaces, take time to wash and sanitize your hands frequently.

“You’re not like walking into it unexpected, it’s going to land on you. You have the opportunity to wash your hands and really practice that good hand hygiene,” Johnson said.

In fact, Dr. Johnson says out of an abundance of caution, it’s best to always assume the potential for virus transmission, and also frequently clean and sanitize surfaces.

“There is some variability to that depending on humidity, heat, sunlight, but we should assume that it can be present for at least some period of time,” Johnson said.

El Paso County Public Health says activities become high risk the longer you’re around more people, such as going to a bar, the movie theather, or the gym.

“We now have multiple people who have movement, there’s the opportunity for the droplets to being spread, and to be in the air. Whether or not you are able to really maintain that six feet of distancing, whether everybody’s wearing their mask or not wearing their mask, the length of time that you’re actually in direct contact with other individuals. All of these factors start to become additive,” Johnson said.

The health department is planning to release similar COVID-19 risk chart for El Paso County.

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