Wednesday, 05 August 2020
Local Time In Israel Asia - Jerusalem

 

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

10 places and activities that might increase the risk of catching the coronavirus.

coronavirus risk

We all know that some places pose a greater risk of infection with the coronavirus.  Prof. Roni Gamzu, Israel's new Chief of Corona insists that fewer restrictions will need to be set in place if the public would be more disciplined about their behavior. Restaurants, prayer services, at a public pool or in a gym - where are you most likely to get infected? On a scale of 1 - 10 these are the risks.

1.  Israelis love to shop online and at the onset of the epidemic we had no idea if we could contract the virus from various surfaces.  Experts now say that the risk of contracting the coronavirus from mail or packages is extremely low.  Risk level 1/10

2.  Some sporting activities, especially those where close contact is involved are risky but sporting activities where distancing is the name of the game are relatively safe.  Outdoor tennis is a relatively safe activity. Squash, on the other hand is more risky as it played indoors.  Experts give tennis a 2/10 risk level

3.  Israel has just one full size, 18 hole, golf course at Caesarea and if you enjoy the game and are a member of the Pete Dye course you can have a game at relatively low risk.  On a scale of 1-10, golf is ranked at level 3.

4.  At the supermarket!  We all need to eat and many of us are born shoppers but, you can completely avoid the risk of infection by being in an enclosed spot for a fairly extend period of time if you shop online.  If you do go to the supermarket, take all necessary precautions.  Aside from disinfecting your hands with alcogel, run a wet-wipe along the supermarket trolley handle. Medical experts rank supermarkets at having a 3/10 risk level.

5.  Staying at a hotel is ranked 4/10.  The longer you stay, the higher the risk.  The dining room is a hot-spot and the risk level there is around 8/10.  A public pool is considered risk level 6/10.  Some hotels are offering virtual check-in but perhaps the best idea right now would be an AirBnB, a houseswap with a friend or camping in a secluded spot.

6.  Avoid the doctor's waiting room if you possibly can.  Of course the waiting room of a family physician poses a much greater risk than most others. Tele-health devices or apps can help eliminate some doctor's visits.  This technology relays basic information to the consulting physician.  Kupat Holim Clalit offer you the TytoCare telehealth device.  If you are visiting the local branch of your health fund or pharmacy make sure you take all possible precautions.  Many infections in Israel have been transmitted at Kupat Holim and pharmacies.  The doctor's waiting room is given a 4/10 risk level.

7.  Al Fresco - dining outside is relatively low risk and is best done with members of your nuclear family.  It's a tough one for restaurateurs who rely on full sittings to cover their costs.  Al Fresco dining gets 4/10.  In fact, if more services could be offered outside, the coronavirus risk could be lowered.   Hair salons and barbershops are much riskier and they are ranked 7/10.  Would you be willing sit outside while your barber gave you a trim and a shave?

8.  The risk of coronavirus infection when having dinner at a friends house is ranked 5/10

9.  Summer camps are ranked 6/10.  They are a much needed service and allow parents to go out to work during the 2 month summer vacay but our Ministry of Health recognizes the risk and as of August 6th, this year (9 days earlier than usual) summer camps will close their doors for the season.

10.  The risk posed by large numbers of people at weddings and funerals, prayer services and other life-cycle and religious events, is well documented.  The current directive for celebrations is 20 people outdoors and 10 people indoors. Prayer services are limited to 10 worshipers. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation divided the plaza into cubicles for Tisha B'Av . A maximum of 20 worshippers were allowed in each  cubicle.  All over the world religious gatherings have been a source of infection. Risk level is 7/10.

Working out at a gym, going to an amusement park, the movies, concerts with large audiences, pubs and clubs are just some of the other high risk areas and quite rightly there are limitations for these. They have an 8/10 and 9/10 risk factor.

Keep track of infection locations via the MOH's coronavirus map

Daily coronavirus updates and useful information

Download the HaMagen 2 app that tracks your whereabouts and lets you know if you have come into direct contact with the coronavirus.  For Android and iPhone.

Based on the Texas Medical Association's ranking.  These rankings were put together by physicians and assume that you are taking maximum precautions including social distancing, wearing a mask and practicing hand hygiene.