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Interactive Map Shows Risk Of Contracting COVID-19 At Events Based On Crowd Size

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The spike in COVID-19 cases has prompted state leaders to encourage Utahns to avoid big gatherings this Halloween weekend, and a new interactive map breaks down each Utah county’s risk based on crowd size.

Almost eight months into living with coronavirus in Utah, and many people are ready to go anywhere just to get away for a bit.

“It’s getting old. People are getting tired, we’re getting frustrated, we’re getting angry and we’re getting depressed,” said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert during a coronavirus update press conference Thursday afternoon.

With current numbers in Utah, COVID-19 is about as dangerous now than at any time since mid-March.

“Unfortunately, we’re in a very difficult time right now with these surges and these spikes that are going on with the infections and the coronavirus,” Herbert said.

That’s part of why Herbert and the Utah Department of Health have limited group gatherings in Utah to no more than 10 people.

“The evidence is overwhelming it does help us,” said Herbert.

But, if you want to go somewhere in Utah, where can you go to reduce your risk?

That’s where an interactive map put together by the Georgia Institute of Technology could help you.

It breaks down the coronavirus risk by every single county in the country based on health data.

The map estimates the chances of at least one person in the crowd of an event you attend who has coronavirus.

Using the interactive options, you pick the size of the crowd at the event you’ll be at and the map updates the risk.

For our story, we kept the crowd at 10, based on the state mandate.

The map also asks you to pick what’s called an ascertainment bias, which is basically an assumption that not everyone who has coronavirus was tested.

We kept our map at the lowest option, which is 5%.

Based on those numbers, the map shows that if you attend an event that has 10 people in Salt Lake County, there is a 30% chance someone in that crowd is COVID positive.

Maybe you want to go to St. George?

The map shows there is a 24% chance someone in that 10-person crowd in Washington County is positive.

In Moab? Grand County shows a 20% chance.

Perhaps you want to get away to Vernal? Uintah County has a lower number — only 12%.

Logan in Cache County shows a 26% chance someone has coronavirus in a crowd of 10 people.

Of course, those percentages go up if you increase the crowd size.

“We’re very concerned about the direction we’re going right now and we could have a crisis of care if we don’t in fact bend the curve on the infection rate that’s going so high now,” Herbert said.

The safest place in Utah?

According to the map, Daggett County has a less than 1% chance that someone in a crowd of 10 is COVID-19 positive.

Daggett’s numbers stay at less than 1% even as you increase the crowd size.

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