Interactive map shows COVID risk by event size in each Alabama county

New Holiday gathering tool

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - As many people are preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19 cases are spiking across the country.

One of the biggest challenges with containing COVID-19 is trying to limit gatherings and a new interactive tool shows just how risky it could be.

“We need to keep following the rules and guidelines of prevention. It’s essential,” Dr. Ali Hassoun said.

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, developed by Georgia Tech, shows you the likelihood that someone attending your get-together has COVID-19 based on the number of people attending and your state or county.

“They look at how many cases are happening and what’s the number per day or per week and they can have a prediction of what’s the transmission in that area,” Dr. Hassoun said.

Dr. Hassoun said the tool is especially helpful for people unfamiliar with the COVID-19 status of the place they might visit.

“If I live here and I want to know what’s going in, let’s say, New York, it might give me a general idea that I now have access fully in compared to somebody that lives there,” Dr. Hassoun said.

Let’s take Colbert county for example, if 50 people attended an event there’s a 77 percent chance that you will be exposed to someone who has coronavirus.

“In certain counties, it’s definitely much higher which means, let’s say about 30 percent or a little bit more than means probably in 10 people there are three infected,” Dr. Hassoun said.

He said that people should take extra precautions going into the Thanksgiving holiday.

“One person infected can transmit the infection to another three or four so imagine if its 20 and one is infected that means it’s going to end up by the end of the gathering there’s about 25 percent or 30 percent that’s going to get infected,” Dr. Hassoun said.

And though COVID fatigue is real, this is not to time to let up.

“We cannot let go of these basic principles prevention because now it’s almost mid-November where we have seen a definite rise of cases and it’s going out of control,” Dr. Hassoun said.

He also said that it is wise to look at local reporting of COVID-19 numbers wherever you go.

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