One of the co-founders lives here in Buffalo.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — One of the biggest questions people seem to have during the pandemic is asking whether or not they can do a certain activity safely.
Well now there’s a website you can go to for all those answers thanks to a website put together by about 30 health professionals across the United States.
It’s called “COVID Can I Do It?” and all you have to do is type in any activity you have planned from getting a tattoo, to kayaking or even going to a grocery store like Wegmans or Tops.
The list goes on and is only growing.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve gotten more than 1,000 suggestions from the 13,000 users that have walked through our site,” said co-founder Jarjieh Fang, who’s based in New York City. “It’s a constant effort of collating activities from our user suggestions, social media, from our emails to make sure we’re covering the things people care about because things change.”
Co-founder, Katelyn Donnelly of Buffalo, says from there, it’ll tell you whether it’s a high or low-risk activity based on how crowded it could get, the amount of time spent there, droplet spread and how much ventilation there is.
“We have a crowding resource that uses google data and I can tap into it when I want to go for my walk and see is Sunday better than Saturday better for me to go? When will it be less crowded? Morning or afternoon,” Donnelly said. “It gives people the ability to make their own decisions and think about how they can contribute to the overall stop of this virus.”
For example, right now one of the top questions the site is getting from users in New York State is whether or not it’s safe for them to go to the gym.
If you’re going to an indoor gym, it’s listed as a moderate risk, with the ventilation listed as the highest risk factor.
The website is free to use and all of the public health professionals who helped to create the site do it voluntarily outside of their daily jobs.
A chat bar and a daily log feature will soon be added to the website as well.
“COVID Can I Do It” has grown exponentially since it was developed in March and is now even getting help from public health experts in the Philippines, Uganda, India and Argentina.
“Hopefully at some point, people don’t necessarily have to go to ‘COVID Can I Do It’ for every detail because they’ve been educated through the site of how to think through their activity,” said Yen Pottinger, a technical advisor or the website based out of Washington, D.C.
Getting back to life after the pandemic is especially important for people like Donnelly though. Since she lives in Buffalo, she hasn’t been able to see her husband who lives and works across the border in Canada.
“I strongly encourage people to take risk reduction efforts like this tool is guiding them to do so that not even just hot spots stop occurring but then we can send our kids back to school safely and we can see our husbands and wives and our families just like we used to and be able to achieve some semblance of a normal life again,” Donnelly said.
If you are a public health expert and would like to help the team, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.