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5 Reasons Not to Go Out, According to Doctors

It's OK to stay home right now. Really. Here's why.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
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Thirteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are going stir-crazy. Even though the weather isn't conducive to it in most parts of the country, many are dying to get out of the close personal spaces where we've been quarantining to avoid the coronavirus. And although there are positive signs in the fight against COVID-19—including the distribution of multiple vaccines and a declining caseload nationwide—it is still important to stay home to prevent the spread of the disease. Here are five reasons not to go out, according to doctors. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1

You Can Get Infected at a Concert

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Indoor concerts are mostly shut down at the moment—and even the outdoor Coachella and Bonaroo festivals just announced they're postponing their dates until at least the fall—and it's easy to see why. "The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading," the CDC says. 

2

Sports Stadiums are a Major Risk

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A natural place for crowds to gather, sports stadiums are a primary COVID risk. "Spectators at sporting events should consider the number of COVID-19 cases both where they live and where the sporting event is taking place before deciding to attend," the CDC says. "The higher the transmission of COVID-19 in the community, the higher the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at sporting events."

3

Religious Services Are Hotspots

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On a scale of 1 to 9, 9 being the most dangerous a group of Texas doctors cited religious services with more than 500 attendees a level-9 risk. That's because attendees are often in close proximity indoors, speaking, singing and shaking hands—all common modes of transmission for the respiratory droplets that spread COVID. To be safe, attend services virtually for now. 

4

Bars Are The Riskiest Place

gilligans bar and grill
Dara S./ Yelp

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, has been imploring Americans to stay out of bars since last summer, when pub reopenings led to a surge of COVID cases. Bars are often crowded, with people talking closely, and as the booze flows, COVID precautions like social distancing are easily forgotten. During a Senate hearing in August, Fauci laid it out directly: "Bars: really not good, really not good. We really have got to stop that." 

5

Travel Is a High-Risk Activity

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"It is not a good idea to travel, period," said Fauci this month. "We don't want people to think that because they got vaccinated that other public health recommendations just don't apply." He warned that vaccination doesn't necessarily protect you from becoming infected with, and transmitting, COVID-19.

RELATED: Simple Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack, According to Doctors

6

How to Survive This Pandemic

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As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.