Reducing the chances of contracting COVID-19 may be dependent on where a person goes and the activities they participate in, according to a new study.

The study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, looked at a variety of places that people visit, and determined their risk level in terms of COVID-19 exposure using a mathematical model.

Researchers assigned a risk percentage to each location, giving people an idea of how likely they are to contract COVID if they put themselves in a certain situation.

According to the study, the most at-risk situation that a person can put themselves in is heavy exercising in a crowded area with poor ventilation for a prolonged period of time with no mask. This situation is the most definite way to catch the virus, as researchers say there is a greater than 99% chance of contracting COVID-19.

But if a person changes their venue for exercise, they can reduce their COVID risk significantly. Heavy exercise in an outdoor space for a short period of time with a face mask in an uncrowded area has a risk level of contracting the virus of only 0.022%, according to the study.

Other high-risk activities that contribute to contracting COVID include singing or shouting with no mask in crowded areas with poor ventilation for a prolonged time, which also has a greater than 99% risk of contracting the virus.

To lower the risk of contracting the virus, ventilation is important, as well as face coverings, how long a person is at a particular location, and the number of other people who are there, the study suggests.

Researchers said in their paper that “The use of multiple 'layers of protection' is needed in many situations, while a single measure (e.g. masking) may not be able to reduce risk to low levels.”

Representation. A face mask. Pixabay