Health experts rate holiday activities on risk scale from 1 to 10

November 19, 2020

AUSTIN ( -- Just how risky are your holiday plans? According to physicians at the Texas Medical Association, it depends.

Physicians from TMA's Committee on Infectious Disease and its COVID-19 Task Force ranked more than 30 common holiday activities on a scale of 1 to 10, based on how much risk the activity offers for leading to a potential coronavirus infection.

Online and virtual events top the list with the least risk, including shopping for gifts online or taking in the holiday lights from the safety of your car.

At the opposite end, celebrating New Year's Eve at a bar or nightclub, attending a large indoor celebration with singing, and attending a college house party carry the most risk.

Having Thanksgiving dinner with family or household members falls into the "low to moderate" risk category at a 3, along with traveling by car to visit family or friends.

Traveling by plane, according to the chart, increases the risk into the moderate category.

Shopping in-person on Black Friday, snapping a photo with Santa Claus, and hosting a holiday party for friends and family make up the moderate-to-high risk category.

Generally speaking, TMA says any activity can pose a risk - and the risk increases as you add more people, who are closer together, with fewer masks and social distancing, especially with alcohol added in.

The chart is similar to one TMA put out earlier this summer, ranking common daily activities based on their potential risk. It's important to note that both charts are purely based on the expert opinions of the TMA physicians, and aren't necessarily based on hard data.

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