New risk evaluator helps Kansas Citians make wise decisions during pandemic

KC Can I Do It risk evaluator.png
Posted at 10:33 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 11:33:41-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is a new tool in the Kansas City, Missouri, metropolitan area to help people gauge the riskiness of daily activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization Comeback KC launched its “KC Can I Do It?” risk assessment tool last week.

The website uses five factors to determine the level of risk for contracting COVID-19. For example, users type in or choose an activity such as riding in a car with others. The tool ranks the activity in four categories: crowding, droplets, time and ventilation. Riding in a car with someone else involves crowding and potentially long periods of time, which trigger a level 2 COVID risk.

“Community COVID spread is the fifth factor,” said Mark Logan of Comeback KC. “It magnifies all the other factors. Given that right now in the KC region, COVID is really out of control, a lot of activities that would normally be pretty benign and relatively safe are looking a lot more risky.”

Logan said in a month, for example, certain activities might have a different risk level than they do today should the number of active COVID cases in the region increase or decrease.

“I think it’s a cool idea to just sort of help you reevaluate as you’re thinking everything through by yourself,” said Kimberly, who had not yet heard of the tool.

While most people 41 Action News spoke with are open to using the tool, one man said it’s not necessary.

“These are precautions we’ve been talking about since March. People understand, so they’re choosing, in my mind, to disregard the recommendations,” Jack Nelson said, adding that if you have to question whether something is risky, you probably shouldn’t do it.

Logan said he hopes users learn how to apply the four main factors to their own activities so they don’t rely on the website before stepping out the door but can make their own, informed decisions.

The website lists ways to make a risky activity less risky.