John Maszinski
Office: 312-580-6440
Illinois Physician Survey Rates COVID-19 Risk for Daily Activities
Findings highlight the protective benefits of wearing masks and social distancing

Chicago, Ill. - A recent physician poll assesses COVID-19 risk across a variety of daily tasks and reinforces the added safety of social distancing/mask use. The Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) and Illinois Medical Professionals Action Collaborative Team (IMPACT) surveyed physicians asking themto rate several activities for COVID-19 exposure risk. Physicians were asked to rate activities on a one (very low risk) to five (very high risk) scale. Survey participants were asked to offer two ratings, the first assuming masks and social distancing were followed (when feasible) and the second assuming no mask or social distancing.

The findings (see attached summary) significantly underscore the value of mask use and social distancing to prevent COVID-19 transmission. The survey results also reinforced that physicians believe socially focused events and actions pose a higher degree of risk. A total of 140 physicians completed the survey. An emphasis was placed on reaching primary care doctors as they are often on the frontline of patient inquiries about COVID-19 safety.

"From the riskiest to least risky activities, there is significantly less risk when wearing a mask and social distancing," said Robert. W. Panton, M.D., ISMS President. He added that "doctors generally agree on where the greatest risk occurs. Gatherings, large group activities and scenarios where you can't control the movements or actions of those around you can be risky. It's incredibly important that we all wear masks."

IMPACT Co-Founder Shikha Jain, MD, stated: "If we want to get our economy back on track while also controlling this pandemic, we must consistently wear masks when outside of the home, continue to social distance, and practice excellent hand hygiene" Our hope is this survey highlights that Illinois doctors agree we cannot become complacent, especially as we enter into flu season."

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Founded in 1840, ISMS is a professional membership association representing Illinois physicians in all medical specialties, and their patients, statewide. Dr. Panton is an Elmwood Park-based ophthalmologist.

IMPACT's mission is to activate change that maximally supports Illinois healthcare workers and the communities they serve by promoting improved quality of healthcare, personal welfare, and patient and provider safety. Dr. Jain is an oncologist practicing in Chicago.

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