(WSYR-TV) — For months now, we’ve been told that if we want to socialize, the safest way to do it is outdoors. But, here in Central New York and in many parts of the country, this is the last month that the weather will allow us to do that comfortably.
How can you safely socialize during the winter? Here’s what we know:
No indoor gathering will be perfectly safe. Although gyms and restaurants have reopened in some capacity, experts don’t recommend spending a lot of time indoors with others who aren’t wearing masks.
The odds of catching the coronavirus are about 20 times higher when indoors and private, indoor gatherings have been linked to several outbreaks.
What’s the risk for a particular indoor event you’re considering?
An Emergency Room physician at Brown University have developed an app to help you decide. It’s called My COVID Risk.
You put in your zip code to determine the COVID activity in your area. And then you give specifics.
For example, if you want to go to dinner at a friend’s house and there are 8 people there who will be together for a couple of hours with no mask wearing, what is the risk? According to the app, the risk is medium.
And it also tells you how to lower the risk by doing things like opening windows, wearing masks and keeping your distance.
The app doesn’t account for personal risk factors like age or health issues.
Given the lack of clear national guidelines on what is safe and what isn’t, the doctor who developed the app said she hopes it will help fill the void.