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New online tool gives coronavirus risk estimate for gatherings by county

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(WBNG) -- A group of professors and graduate students recently launched a new tool that provides an estimated risk of running into someone with coronavirus at a gathering.

Georgia Institute of Technology Professor Clio Aldris is one of the people who helped craft the tool called the 'COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool.'

She explains the website estimates, by county, the chances of you interacting with at least one person who has coronavirus.

"Clearly if there's a 99% chance that someone is infected at an event, it is clear that there are probably more than one person," she explained.

To use the tool, just choose how many people will be at the event, let the map refresh and find your county.

To come to these numbers, Andris says a formula is used that factors in county population, county cases, the event size and what's called the ascertainment bias.

The final factor she explains as, "For every person who is symptomatic and is showing symptoms or who been tested to be positive for COVID-19, how many other people are actually just walking around with it who haven't been tested?"

With the number of coronavirus cases constantly changing, this tool does too. The team updates virus data everyday that they get from the New York Times.

Andris explains her team crafted this tool not only to help you, but help you help others.

"You can help them form opinions and help them create really good decisions using this map."

Whatever you use the tool for, Andris highlights this is an evolving project and shouldn't be relied on as the end-all, be-all.

"It's a helpful tool for getting a baseline risk out there."

The tool doesn't currently account for visitors, just the census population.

Julia Gorman

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