With coronavirus numbers soaring across the nation and here in Iowa, families are being urged to stay home this Thanksgiving and celebrate only with members of their own household. It's a tough ask for many of us, who have already given up family time this year due to the virus. But if you want to know the risk right now of traveling to a family gathering and getting COVID-19, we have some sobering facts for you.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen has posted information gathered using a new online tool from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The tool estimates your likelihood of being exposed to COVID-19 based on different gathering sizes, and on your location in the United States. According to research, the average size of a typical Thanksgiving Day gathering is 12 people. The online tool's smallest gathering size is 10 and 15 so the following statistics are based on those numbers.

Here are the Iowa Counties where the risk is lowest of contracting COVID-19 in a group of 10.

  1. Ringgold County - 20%
  2. Clarke County - 22%
  3. Monona County - 22%
  4. Lucas County - 23%
  5. Winneshiek County - 31%

Those are the lowest rates in Iowa. Scary isn't it. Well how about some of the highest rates of infections per county. These are places where gatherings of 10 should not happen.

  1. Jones County - 91%
  2. Calhoun County - 88%
  3. Page County -  75%
  4. Bremer County -  66%
  5. Pocahontas County - 66%

All of Iowa's 99 counties are listed as red zones for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Infection rates have never been higher. As much as we all want to go and see our parents and grandparents this Thanksgiving, it would be best not to. Let's make sure everyone is around to celebrate in 2021.

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