Avoiding the virus: Here’s how to manage your risk

Lifestyle

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DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — While there are plenty of steps you can take to minimize your risk of catching COVID-19, a new survey of epidemiologists reveals spending time in a confined space outside of your household where anyone is unmasked is the must-avoid item.

The New York Times surveyed 700 medical experts who provided a list of some of the riskiest activities. Among those were eating indoors at a restaurant or friend’s house, any unmasked conversation (including outdoors), eating lunch in the same room as others at the office, or removing your mask to eat or drink while flying.

While those were the riskiest activities, the other thing to watch is spending extended time in indoor spaces — even if that includes people wearing masks.

The epidemiologists note masks can’t 100% protect you against the virus. They say working out at home versus going to a gym or watching gatherings remotely instead of attending in person can help keep you safe.

The medical pros note there are some activities you don’t need to worry so much about — like jogging outside without a mask. They also say going to the grocery store or running errands are relatively safe activities as long as you wear a mask, keep your distance from others and wash your hands following the activity.

So when will life return to normal? Most epidemiologists surveyed believe it’ll be another year or so before many activities safely restart.

On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden told CNN he planned to ask Americans to wear masks in public for the first 100 days of his administration so that the country can tamp down the growing virus threat.

Thursday marked one of the toughest days of the pandemic yet. Hospitalizations hit a new record with more than 101,000 Americans taking up beds and 2,800 others dying of COVID-related illnesses. The U.S. hit a new record with more than 216,000 confirmed cases.

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