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Tool shows risk of catching COVID-19 in group settings

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COVID-19 cases are surging from coast-to-coast, and some states are beginning to lockdown again.

Nevada isn't there yet but Gov. Steve Sisolak made an urgent plea on Tuesday for Nevadans to stay home for two weeks.

“If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out. Reduce your time in public to what is necessary and limit any and all exposures to those outside of your household," said Sisolak.

UNLV's Brian Labus, who has a background in infectious disease epidemiology including outbreak investigation and disease surveillance, says there's a new tool showing risk in group settings.

The risk factor updates daily as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations shoot up in both Clark and Washoe counties.

Georgia Tech Research Scientist Dr. Stephen Beckett was a part of the team that created the dashboard.

“Primarily, this is thinking about the risk that one or more people at an event of a certain size might be infected with COVID-19," said Dr. Beckett.

Looking at Nevada, as of Thursday, the dashboard shows a 21 percent probability in a group of 10 of being infected with coronavirus in Clark County.

In Washoe County, that number is 34 percent.

RELATED | COVID-19 cases continue to spike at Washoe County jail

In an event of 25 people, the chance increases to 45 percent in Clark County while it's 64 percent in Washoe County.

Compare that with a group of 100 people where the probability jumps to 91 percent in Clark versus 98 percent in Washoe.

“We really want this tool to help inform people about what the risk might be," said Dr. Benett.

Labus, who is not part of the team, says the tool illustrates the reality of how quickly the virus can spread.

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“It really helps people understand that those larger gatherings do carry a real risk of having at least one infected person there, and that’s all that it takes to spread disease.”

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