This Is Where 80 Percent of Coronavirus Outbreaks Are Happening

A recent study shows that a majority of coronavirus cases stem from this one common place.

As states begin to reopen, there's a lot of concern about the dangerous places where you're at risk of contracting the coronavirus. But while you may be worried when you step out the door, a recent study reveals that you should be extra careful inside your home, too. In fact, the research found that 80 percent of COVID-19 outbreaks are happening at home.

The April study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, examined 318 outbreaks in which three or more cases were reported—that equates to 1,245 confirmed cases across 120 cities in China. These outbreaks occurred in households, transit systems, dining areas, entertainment complexes, and shopping centers. However, a whopping 254 outbreaks—or about 80 percent—came from homes. And most outbreaks that stemmed from households resulted in three to five cases each.

Meanwhile, only one outbreak (involving just two cases) took place outdoors. "All identified outbreaks of three or more cases occurred in an indoor environment, which confirms that sharing indoor space is a major [COVID-19] infection risk," the researchers explain.

a family wears face masks at home

A separate study, published in BMJ Global Health in June, echoed this statement. It looked at 460 people from 126 families in Beijing and found that families who have "frequent daily close contact with the primary case"—by doing things like eating meals or watching TV together—are 18 times more likely to catch coronavirus. The researchers concluded that "household transmission is a major driver of epidemic growth."

So what can you do to stop the spread of COVID-19? Make sure you social distance by at least six feet and wear a mask both inside and outside of the house. The same study published in BMJ Global Health found that wearing a mask at home was 79 percent effective at curbing coronavirus transmission among family members—as long as everyone in the household wears a mask before symptoms appear in any infected individual. And for more ways to stay safe, check out The No. 1 Way to Reduce Your Coronavirus Risk Indoors.

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