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This tool helps you judge COVID-19 risks in any space

A new online tool allows you to assess how dangerous and how at risk you are inside during the coronavirus pandemic winter.

In this Sept. 30, 2020 file photo, customers have lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen in New York. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, that indoor restaurant service will likely shut down within a week or two to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In this Sept. 30, 2020, file photo, customers have lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen in New York. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, that indoor restaurant service will likely shut down within a week or two to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Mary Althaffer, Associated Press

A new online tool helps you figure out how risky an indoor event or situation can be, depending on how many people are there and what the activity is.

What’s going on?

John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and MIT colleague Martin Z. Bazant put together a free online tool that can help you see how dangerous any given event is.

  • The tool allows you to “create your own custom scenario to judge COVID-19 risks for yourself,” according to Fast Company.

How the tool works

The tool assumes one person in the room has COVID-19. Then, you can tweak a number of factors to see what your risk might be in that room.

  • The variables can include square footage, the height of the ceiling, the HVAC system and more.
  • You can even customize whether there’s humidity or when a window is open.

An example:

Fast Company put together an example of a Thanksgiving dinner in a 20-foot-by-20-foot room with 10 people inside. Nobody wore masks during dinnertime. The room had average humidity.

  • Based on this model, the safety would exist for 18 minutes for all 10 people.
  • But opening the windows and wearing masks adds a few more minutes.

How to find it

Visit the tool here.