AUSTIN (KXAN/WAVY) — Going to a bar tops the list of activities that put people — even those wearing masks — most at risk for getting COVID-19, according to a new chart the Texas Medical Association (TMA) is sharing with doctors to better inform their patients.
It’s for that reason Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam prohibited bar seating as the state moved into Phase 3 last week.
The TMA chart ranks common activities from 1 (low risk) to 10 (high risk). Low-risk activities include opening the mail (1), getting takeout from a restaurant (2) or pumping gas (2).
Going to a bar (9), attending a religious service with more than 500 people (9) and going to a sports stadium (9) are all considered high risk.
Within the past few weeks, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order shutting down bars again, after he said they contributed to increased coronavirus cases. His latest executive order requires people in counties with more than 20 active cases to wear a mask.
TMA’s COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases created the chart, “based on input from the physician members of the task force and the committee, who worked from the assumption that – no matter the activity – participants were taking as many safety precautions as they can,” according to a post on its website.
The TMA told doctors to keep reminding patients, “that no matter what they do, it’s best if they stay home if possible, wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance when they have to go out, and practice safe hand hygiene.”
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