As states lift restaurant ban, CDC report links dining to increased COVID-19 risk

According to a report published on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating outdoors increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to other activities, such as going to a salon or going to a salon.

The conclusion is that many states consider it the safest way to reopen businesses, especially restaurants. On Wednesday, for example, the New York government. Andrew Cuomo announced that limited indoor dining would be allowed in New York City from September 30.

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The CDC report included 314 people who had COVID-19 symptoms and were subsequently tested for the virus; About half tested positive.

The researchers then asked all participants about their social activities during the two weeks before their COVID-19 test. Participants resided in states with varying levels of reopening guidelines: California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.

The two groups typically reported similar activities, such as going to church, gym, and store, with one exception: going out to eat or drink at a bar or coffee shop.

Those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, “were almost twice as likely to report a meal in a restaurant as the negative SARS-CoV-2 test. The results were accompanied, ”the study authors wrote. And those who were diagnosed without any known risk of the virus were more likely to report visiting a bar or coffee shop in the past two weeks.

The increased risk is understandable; It is easy to wear masks in stores or places of worship, but it is almost impossible to do so while eating and drinking, Dr. Said Todd Rice, co-author of the report and an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. .

In addition to being masked, people are often close to each other while eating in a restaurant, sitting across the table from each other.

Rice, who lives in Nashville, said, “If people are going out to eat, they need to think about how they are going to do it.”

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He said that he had gone out for dinner in the last six months, but took many precautions.

“Even though I’m sitting at a table and the food hasn’t arrived yet, I still wear a mask. I won’t sit at a table next to anyone else,” Rice said, asking him to be too. Is sitting outside

One limitation of the report is that researchers did not ask participants whether they ate indoors or outdoors.

Infectious disease experts say outdoor spaces are safer than indoor areas that have less ventilation. The CDC’s guidelines for eating out indicate that drive-through, delivery, take-out and curbside pick-up are the lowest risk for COVID-19 transmission.

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