Nov 10, 2020 5:33 PM

Online tool shows potential risk of large gatherings amid pandemic

Posted Nov 10, 2020 5:33 PM
The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by <a href="https://ecotheory.biosci.gatech.edu/" target="_blank">Prof. Joshua Weitz</a> and <a href="http://friendlycities.gatech.edu/" target="_blank">Prof. Clio Andris</a> at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the <a href="https://www.abil.ihrc.com/" target="_blank">Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory</a> and <a href="https://knight-hennessy.stanford.edu/program/scholars/2019/mallory-harris" target="_blank">Stanford University</a>, and powered by <a href="https://rstudio.com/" target="_blank">RStudio</a>.
The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University, and powered by RStudio.

During Tuesday's COVID-19 briefing from The University of Kansas Health System, Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, showed a helpful tool for those considering attending a gathering which helps assess the risk involved.

It’s called the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool. It displays a county-by-county map of the United States, and shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location. For each county, it displays a percentage, which is the estimated chance that at least one COVID-19 positive person will be present at the event.

Johnson County, for example, shows a rate of 79 percent. He also said when it comes to COVID-19, 80 to 85 percent of people will not need to seek medical care, but reminded us that even people with no symptoms can spread the virus He says even those who have already had it can still get it and spread it again since scientists are not sure how long any immunity lasts. He also noted schools have a very low transmission rate for COVID-19. He says the problems come when students gather outside of the classroom, or from large gatherings like weddings and funerals. 

Six northwest Kansas counties were projected to have a greater than 99 percent chance of at least one COVID-positive individual at a gathering of 50 people.

When the gathering size is increased to 100, the majority of northwest Kansas counties had a greater than 99 percent chance, with Ellis County having a risk level of 96 percent.

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University, and powered by RStudio.

— Hays Post contributed to this report