New Tool Calculates Risk of Encountering Someone Infected With COVID-19

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Researchers from Georgia Tech launched an online tool to help gauge the chances people have coming into contact with someone who is a COVID-19 carrier and the use of the tool is pretty clear.

Professor Clio Maria Andris is one of the researchers who put it together.

"Say you're going to meet up with friends at a house and you have like 10 people there," she said. "And you're like 'it's fine, no one is showing symptoms,' It's possible that someone is actually infectious."

The tool allows you to pick a crowd size, then based on the presence of the COVID-19 virus in your county, and the population, it will calculate the possibility you might encounter someone who may be unknowingly infected.

Infectious Disease Biologist Jessica Malaty Rivera says families could use this tool as the school year begins.

"If schools are considering reopening in areas where community transmission is really high, where test positivity is really high, where a tool like this would suggest that it's really likely that you will encounter someone that is infectious, that should be a warning sign," she said.

Or, it could help communicate with extended family members who may be taking more risks than they thought.

"You can go to the county where they live and type in the size of the event that they plan on attending and tell them, 'hey, this is a bigger risk than you might have thought,'" said Andris.

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