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This COVID-19 risk assessment map can help you decide your Thanksgiving Day plans

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Posted at 12:04 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 13:13:15-05

(LEX 18) — If you're still deciding if you want to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends, an interactive map created by a team of researchers can help you with that decision.

The interactive map, led by professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, shows the likelihood at least one person would test positive for COVID-19 if you attend a gathering of 10 or more people.

The map includes data for every U.S. county and shows the risk for infection using data of recent COVID-19 cases across the country.

It all depends on where you'll meet and the size of your gathering. For example, if you live in Fayette County, Kentucky, here's the likelihood that at least one person would test positive for COVID-19:

  • 10 people: 28%
  • 15 people: 39%
  • 20 people: 48%
  • 25 people: 56%
  • 50 people: 81%

Lee County is seeing a massive spike in cases. The New York Times says the county has the second-highest number of recent cases per resident in the entire country.

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The interactive map says there's a 98% chance at least one person would test positive for COVID-19 if you attend a gathering with 10 or more people in the county.

Nearly 40% of people say they will likely attend a Thanksgiving gathering with 10 or more people despite the risk of catching COVID-19, according to a recent survey by Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.

Another survey of parents nationwide found nearly a third say the benefits of gathering with extended family for the holidays are worth the risk of spreading or getting the coronavirus. The survey, conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in partnership with the University of Michigan, says almost 3-in-5 plan to see extended family in person.

Experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year. They recommend hosting a virtual gathering, if possible, to avoid another spike in cases.

To use the Georgia Institute of Technology's map, click here.