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5 Places You'll Most Likely Catch COVID, According to Dr. Gupta

Here is where the risk of infection is high.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

Despite pandemic restrictions being lifted, COVID-19 is still very much with us thanks to seemingly endless virus mutations and subvariants such as BA.4 and BA.5. "We're in a pandemic still," says CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "We'd like to think that we're not, but, but we are." Here are five places you are most likely to get COVID, according to Dr. Gupta. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Hospitals

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Research shows healthcare workers are seven times more likely to get severe COVID-19 compared to those with 'non-essential' jobs. "People did forgo a lot of medical treatment and screenings and checkups over the past couple of years," says Dr. Gupta. "I think initially it was very understandable. The idea of going into a hospital where sick people are in the middle of a pandemic when there was so much uncertainty, I think made sense. I'm a user of telehealth now, and it's great. I can see patients and their family members in their homes."

2

States With Low Vaccination Rates

Mississippi welcome sign with the words "Birthplace of America's Music"
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"Experts warn we could see outbreaks in pockets of the country with the lowest vaccination rates — such as Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Louisiana — each of which has less than 36% of its total population fully vaccinated (compared to more than 47% for the country as a whole)," says Dr. Gupta.

3

Where Are Cases Surging?

Doctors and senior covid-19 infected patient in bed in hospital
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Dr. Gupta warns that cases and hospitalizations are creeping up in specific parts of the country. "Even hospitalizations, a lagging indicator, have been increasing slowly: They're up in more than half of states (including most of the Northeast and Midwest) compared with last week and as of Thursday morning stand at more than 20,000 — levels last seen at the end of March," Dr Gupta warned in May.

4

Airplanes

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The mask mandate for public transport was dropped in April, but Dr. Gupta did not think the decision was based on science. "Airplanes generally have been considered one of the safer places to be because of the air exchange and the ventilation on planes," Dr. Gupta told Kate Bouldan on CNN's At This Hour. "But I think what we saw was a legal decision, not a public health decision."

5

Crowded Indoor Events

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Mask mandates may be lifted—but wearing a mask is still one of the best ways to protect yourself from infection. "You can still wear a mask. I mean, even if you're not required to, you still can still do it," says Dr. Gupta. "And If you're going to wear one, I think an KN95 or an N95 are the best masks in terms of protecting the user. Early on, you wore a mask to protect those around you. With these high filtration masks, you can better protect yourself."

6

How to Stay Safe Out There

Family after getting covid-19 vaccine.
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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

 

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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