Community Magazine

Settings That Heighten Risk for COVID-19 Transmission

By Thegenaboveme @TheGenAboveMe

Settings that Heighten Risk for COVID-19 Transmission

Photo by diofw

Because I want to better understand the risk factors, I wrote a post in April about biological risk factors such as obesity and diabetes. I'm adding to that post as new risk factors are announced (such as blood type).
However, I was also adding information about settings that are high risk factors for transmission. This was making the post too long and less focused. So I moved that information into this new post.
Clearly, experts in science and medicine are still collecting and analyzing data on this topic. I will probably add to this post as new information is published.
Physical Settings that Heighten Risks
Congregate Living. Many indoor settings where people are in close contact are proving to have high transmission rates, such as congregate living:
Workplaces. Also, workplaces where people are in close proximity and often with a lot of talking either because of noise or because the work being done is talking. Here is a list of several occupations and the estimated risk--with dental hygienist as being listed as a high risk for infection.
I am a university teacher, so I worry about lecturing and class discussion being acts of transmission within crowded, enclosed classrooms. For this reason, I am moving my classes online for Fall 2020--particularly since my spouse has multiple chronic diseases that heighten risk for a severe case of COVID-19.
Recreational Activities. Activities that focus on exhaling strongly indoors increase risk, which include 
  • choral singing / choirs
  • bars in general
  • karioki bars in particular
  • bars
  • restaurants in general
  • buffets in particular
  • public transportation (planes, trains, buses) 
  • family reunions (and similar gatherings such as funerals, weddings, graduation parties, etc.) 

Outdoor Transmission. This seems to be rare. See this Lake of the Ozarks news story. We will have to see if the protests of late May, early June result in an uptick of cases.
Social (Economic, Education, Healthcare, etc.) Inequalities
Unfortunately, a number of people are at higher risk because of systemic inequalities, including people of color, particularly Native Americans. These are not because of biological factors (excepting perhaps sickle cell anemia, since blood disorders are a risk factor, and African Americans have a higher rate of sickle cell anemia).
The virus is exposing gross inequalities that our must address by offering greater resources and working for a more just society across the life span in order to erase cumulative disadvantage that comes with systemic racism.
This is another topic I'd like to learn about, so I will probably write a post about this, particularly as COVID-19 is affecting black, Hispanic, and Native American older adults in the US.

Biological Risk Factors for COVID-19

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog