We all want to get out and do the things that we used to do before the coronavirus crisis. But what are the risks of getting back to those once normal, everyday activities? Read on to find out how risky the Texas Medical Association thinks it is to go to the gym, have a backyard barbecue, visit aging relatives, stay in a hotel and more. We’ll also share helpful links to Dallas County Health and Human Services information, including how to interact with a high-risk person and a handy daily risk level meter.

Know your risk during COVID-19

The Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases put together a chart to help you assess the risk for contracting (or spreading) coronavirus by activity. The levels are based on input from the physician members of the task force and the committee, who worked from the assumption that participants in these activities are following currently recommended protocols when possible.

Here are their rankings for many common activities:

Low risk:

  • Level 1
    • Opening the mail
  • Level 2
    • Getting restaurant takeout
    • Pumping gasoline
    • Playing tennis
    • Going camping

Low-moderate risk:

  • Level 3
    • Grocery shopping
    • Going for a walk, run or bike ride with others
    • Playing golf
  • Level 4
    • Staying at a hotel for two nights
    • Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room
    • Going to a library or museum
    • Eating in a restaurant (outside)
    • Walking in a busy downtown
    • Spending an hour at a playground

Moderate risk:

  • Level 5
    • Having dinner at someone else’s house
    • Attending a backyard barbecue
    • Going to a beach
    • Shopping at a mall
  • Level 6
    • Sending kids to school, camp or day care
    • Working a week in an office building
    • Swimming in a public pool
    • Visiting an elderly relative or friend in their home

Moderate-high risk:

  • Level 7
    • Going to a hair salon or barbershop
    • Eating in a restaurant (inside)
    • Attending a wedding or funeral
    • Traveling by plane
    • Playing baseball
    • Playing football
    • Hugging or shaking hands when greeting a friend

High risk:

  • Level 8
    • Eating at a buffet
    • Working out at a gym
    • Going to an amusement park
    • Going to a movie theater
  • Level 9
    • Attending a large music concert
    • Going to a sports stadium
    • Attending a religious service with 500+ worshipers
    • Going to a bar

Of course, the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus during any of these activities goes up when someone has the virus—even if they don’t know it—and doesn’t wear a mask or take other preventive precautions. So, use this chart as a guide only and remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Dallas County Health and Human Services helpful links.

Dallas County Health and Human Services has a wealth of information relating to COVID-19. Here are a few useful links:

  • Health Guidance for the General Public. These guidelines include the agency’s COVID risk assessment for many of the same activities listed above, except that these are based on its COVID-19 risk level meter—which is updated daily to alert residents to one of four community-spread risk levels:
    • Red (high community risk for COVID-19 transmission): Stay home, stay safe
    • Orange (moderate community risk for COVID-19 transmission): Use extreme caution
    • Yellow (low community risk for COVID-19 transmission): Proceed carefully
    • Green: New normal risk for COVID-19 transmission until vaccine is available
  • Guidance for Individuals at Higher-Risk. These guidelines also use the risk level meter to provide recommendations for what a high-risk individual should do under the varying risk conditions and how family and friends should interact with a high-risk person.

For more information about COVID-19 and the steps we’re taking to help keep North Texans healthy, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub.