Coronavirus Spread In Baltimore County: See Your Risk Of Exposure

Elizabeth Janney
·3 min read

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD — Since Maryland is in the middle of a coronavirus surge, officials have asked residents not to gather with those in other households for Thanksgiving or other social events this month, given the high rate of infections.

"My advice would be to stay home," Maryland Health Secretary Robert H. Neall said at a Wednesday morning meeting of the state's joint COVID-19 task force. "Keep your gatherings to an absolute minimum."

Current statewide guidance calls for limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Maryland Department of Health issued an advisory against gatherings of more than 25 individuals in one location.

An executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan issued Nov. 10 also states that the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health recommend canceling large gatherings and social distancing in smaller gatherings."

In Baltimore County, social gatherings are limited to 10 people inside and 25 people outside.

What Is Your Risk Of Exposure?

Researchers from several universities have created an event risk planning tool that maps out the risk of coronavirus transmission for every jurisdiction in the nation based on an event's size and location.

At an event with 10 people in Baltimore County, there's a 14 percent chance that someone at the event would have the virus, according to the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool.

There's an 77 percent chance someone has the virus at a gathering of 100 people, based on the data as of Wednesday.

The tool shows the estimated chance — between 0 and 100 percent — that you'll encounter at least one person with the coronavirus at an event in your jurisdiction. You can reduce the risk by wearing a mask, distancing and gathering outdoors in smaller groups, researchers said.

The tool looks at the risk of exposure based on the size of gatherings from 10 to 5,000 people.

As of Wednesday, here are the risks based in Baltimore County, according to the research:

  • At an event with 10 people in Baltimore County, there's a 14 percent chance someone at the event would have the virus, according to the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool.

  • A gathering of 15 people presents a 23 percent risk of exposure.

  • For a gathering size of 25 people, that chance increases to 31 percent.

  • A gathering of 50 people means there's a 52 percent chance that someone has the virus.

  • There's a 77 percent chance someone has the virus at a gathering of 100 people.

  • At a gathering of 500, the chance is greater than 99 percent.

This is using a 5:1 ascertainment bias, meaning the researchers assume there are five times more cases than are being reported.

Two Georgia Institute of Technology professors led the creation of the project, and their team included researchers from Stanford University and the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory.

"By default we assume there are five times more cases than are being reported," the research team said in a statement. "In places with less testing availability, that bias may be higher."

Use the COVID-19 "Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool" here.

Patch editors Amber Fisher and William Bornhoft contributed to this report.

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This article originally appeared on the Towson Patch