# In these places, you are most likely to get COVID-19

In a new study, researchers found a better way to predict where people are most likely to catch COVID-19.

They analyzed outbreaks and superspreader events and examined factors that hinder and aid the virus’ spread.

Their new mathematical model takes many factors into account before giving a percentage risk of infection.

The results showed that going into a crowded movie theater with poor ventilation and staying with a mostly unmasked audience can give you a 14% chance of being infected, assuming everyone in the room is silent before, during and after the movie.

This is because talking can potentially launch viral particles into the air.

The team also found if the crowd is masked, the risk of infection drops to 5.3% without talking and 24% with talking.

Given that COVID-19 spreads primarily through airborne particles, masks, ventilation, the number of people in a room or building and time spent in that space all factor heavily in the equation.

Also critical is what’s happening around someone. Heavy exercise poses the most risk, followed by shouting and singing, then normal speaking. The least worrisome is the “silent” category.

The team found that being outdoors, masked and surrounded by silence is the best way to avoid coronavirus.

And the opposite is true: a heavy exercise in a poorly ventilated place packed with maskless people is a nearly surefire way to catch COVID-19—it’s 99% effective.

The team concluded that many indoor facilities, businesses, schools, houses of worship—the buildings where people spend their daily lives—are not adequately designed or equipped to handle the pandemic.

People urgently need to improve the safety of the air that they breathe across a range of environments.