Places where you are most likely to get COVID and how to score free N95 masks
The COVID omicron variant is still spreading. California and Texas are the hardest hit, accounting for 11.4 million of the total of 74 million cases. Looking for free COVID testing? Avoid these fraudulent sites.
The number of vaccines administered is also increasing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get COVID. Being vaccinated only reduces the severity of the infection if you happen to catch it.
If you’re concerned about contamination, a new study shows some hot spots to avoid. If you do decide to go out, you may want to pick up one of these free N95 masks that are given out by the government. Keep reading to find out how to get yours.
Here’s the backstory
Over the past two years, numerous scientific studies have examined the likelihood of contracting COVID in various scenarios. Several variables increase or decrease your risk of infection, but most concluded that population density is an important factor.
This formed the basis of a recent study, where your risk of infection was calculated on a sliding scale when a certain percentage of the total population is infectious. The study also correlated the latter with where you are, what you do, and whether you talk.
Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Colorado Boulder have published their findings in a comprehensive report. The results shouldn’t be shocking, but where are you most likely to contract COVID? In a poorly ventilated room with many unmasked people. Here are some key points from the study:
You have less than a 0.001% chance of infection if you wear a mask outdoors with only a few people around and you keep quiet. Without a face covering during strenuous exercise, you have a 27% chance of becoming infected if you have been in contact with a poorly ventilated area for a short time. The chance of infection is significantly reduced (up to 5%) if the room is well ventilated. You will almost certainly get infected in high occupancy areas, such as movie theaters or music concerts. Poorly ventilated locations with lots of masked people singing or shouting give you an 81% chance. Remove the face coverings and the same site conditions will cause a 99% chance of COVID-19 infection with prolonged contact.
Do masks work?
Since the start of the pandemic, many people have debated the efficacy of fabrics or surgical masks. The study takes the guesswork out of it, as there are significant differences in your chances of contracting COVID with or without a face covering.
Vigorous exercise in a crowded, poorly ventilated gym without a face covering has a 67% chance of infection. By putting on a mask under the same conditions, you reduce the risk to 32%. At indoor concerts in well-ventilated areas, you have a 24% chance of infection if you wear a face mask. Without a face covering, you have a 54% chance.
Through investigations like this, the Biden administration makes 400 million N95 masks available to citizens free of charge. The masks are distributed through local pharmacies and health centers and are available free of charge to help contain the flood of infection. This in combination with the free home COVID-19 tests.
Where can you get a free mask?
The Department of Health and Human Services will allow up to three masks per person, as new guidelines for the ineffectiveness of cloth masks.
The free face coverings will go to local pharmacies from the 750 million strong Strategic National Supply. While some territories have already received theirs, the majority should be ready for distribution next week from:
KrogerWalgreensCVSHy-VeeSoutheastern GrocersFresco y MásHarveys SupermarketWinn-DixieMeijer
Healthcare institutions will also be handing out mouth caps from this Friday. The first 100 have already received their first batches. A full list of participating facilities can be found on the HRSA Health Center COVID-19 N95 mask program website.
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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional if you have any questions about a medical condition, advice, or health goals.