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A new online tool helps people calculate their risk of getting COVID-19 based on specific scenarios.
The delta variant of the coronavirus has increased people's chances of testing positive, especially those who are unvaccinated, though there have been a small number of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated individuals, particularly among those older than 65.
"While it's good to know how the math works, it can be a bit drudgerous to actually sit down and do it for every activity you're considering. With that in mind, we developed a calculator tool to help you estimate and multiply the Person Risk and Activity Risk, including any modifiers for safer behavior (like wearing a mask), to get an estimated number of microCOVIDs from a given activity," a white paper for the microCOVID calculator reads.
The calculator and its website were developed by a group of researchers who entitled their work "The microCOVID Project."
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The tool first asks users in what state or country are they located and then goes on to ask a series of questions to build a specific circumstance to determine the person's risk of catching COVID-19.
For example, it prompts users to enter a scenario ranging from a car ride with one person for 15 minutes to a crowded grocery store trip to an indoor party with 25 unmasked people.
The user is then presented with the following questions: How many people are usually within 15 feet of you at any given time? How close are these nearby people on average? How long is the activity? What is the other person's risk profile? Is the setting outdoor or indoor? Is the space ventilated, or is the air filtered?
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Based on the user's responses to those questions and state or country-specific COVID-19 data and various studies of the virus, the tool assesses the user's risk of contracting COVID-19.