Seacoast Christmas Gatherings and COVID-19: How Bad Is The Risk?
What are the chances one of your holiday guests will have COVID-19?
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are attempting to answer that very question with a new interactive map that shows the likelihood, based on size of gatherings and location, that someone could be infected with coronavirus at your holiday gathering.
According to the map, there is a 28% chance someone could be infected with COVID-19 at a gathering of just 10 people in Rockingham County. In Strafford County, that number goes down to 23% and in York County the risk is 19% for a gathering of 10 people. Essex County had the highest risk factor, according to the map, at a 38% chance someone at a 10-person gathering could have coronavirus.
Elsewhere in New England, the risks vary. Say you were taking a holiday trip to Nantucket and there were 25 people at the gathering; according to the map, there would be an 81% chance that someone there could be infected with COVID-19.
Not surprisingly, the risk gets higher as the number of guests increase. The odds someone could have COVID-19 at a 20-person gathering in Rockingham County is the same as flipping a coin. Essex County is even worse at 64%, and Strafford and York Counties (37% and 34%, respectively) and behind them.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise on the Seacoast, Dover and Rochester, both of which are located in Strafford County, are the biggest hotspots for COVID-19 on the Seacoast. Durham, Hampton and Portsmouth have all been relatively high in active case numbers through much of the pandemic.