Williamson County, Texas – As people prepare to celebrate over Christmas weekend and coronavirus cases and hospitalizations show no sign of slowing down in the U.S., officials are once again asking residents to stay within their own homes and many states have already imposed restrictions around the holidays.
Gov. Greg Abbott has issued several executive orders detailing the ongoing plan to open businesses and activities in Texas. For more information, review the DSHS guidance for Opening the State of Texas and Executive Order GA-32.
For those planning on hosting a gathering or visiting others, a tool developed by researchers from several universities lets you see your risk of exposure to the virus at an indoor gathering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also lists things people should consider if traveling or attending a gathering.
The tool shows the estimated chance — between 0 and 100 percent — that you’ll encounter at least one person with the coronavirus at an event in your county. You can reduce the risk by wearing a mask, distancing and gathering outdoors in smaller groups, researchers said.
As of Friday, if you were to attend an event with at least 15 people in Williamson County, there’s a 29 percent chance that someone in the group could expose you to the virus, according to the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Planning Tool. If your gathering has 10 people, that risk would be 21 percent.
Two Georgia Institute of Technology professors led the creation of the project, and their team included researchers from Stanford University and the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory.
“By default we assume there are five times more cases than are being reported,” the research team said in a statement. “In places with less testing availability, that bias may be higher.”