S.D. Department of Health releases COVID-19 risk scale

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FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s Department of Health added another resource for COVID-19 to its website.

The department now has a risk and benefits scale to determine the likeliness of spreading or getting COVID-19 during social activities. Officials also say some activities can range throughout the whole spectrum.

The chart lists considerations to also think about when engaging in these activities.

“There is no way to ensure zero risk of COVID-19 infection for individuals in their day-to-day lives. Whether deciding to attend a community event or going to a backyard barbeque, individuals must weigh the benefits of attending or participating to a person’s social, emotional, and physical needs with the health risks to yourself and others,” the document states.

On Wednesday, KELOLAND News spoke with a local doctor about how useful risk charts are when making decisions.

Dr. Wendell Hoffman, Infectious Disease Specialist for Sanford Health, says there are four main factors to consider:

  • Enclosed space or outdoors
  • Duration of interaction
  • The size of the crowd or number of people
  • Forceful exhalation including sneezing, yelling, singing and coughing

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