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Going to restaurants linked to increased coronavirus spread: US CDC

Adults dining at restaurants twice as likely to develop virus

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 14, 2020 | Last Updated: 9 months ago
Posted: Sep 14, 2020 | Last Updated: 9 months ago

Photo: AFP

A new study by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people who have been to restaurants and other crowded indoor places had a higher likelihood of getting infected by the novel coronavirus.

“Adults with confirmed COVID-19 (case-patients) were approximately twice as likely as were control-participants to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill,” said a study by the CDC.

In addition to dining at a restaurant, case patients were more likely to have gone to a bar or a coffee shop, it adds.

Related: Pakistan reopens restaurants, cinemas and gyms after five months

The study was carried out on 314 participants, 154 of whom were case patients and 160 control participants. The data of case patients was collected from 11 different health centres in the US and all the participants self-reported their activities prior to contracting the virus.

The CDC says: Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance.

It is also not possible to wear a mask while eating or drinking. The organisation’s experts say extra precautions need to be taken in places where it’s not possible to wear a mask throughout or socially distance.

CDC’s guidelines for dining at a restaurant

Earlier, the CDC had separately released guidelines people need to follow while attending events or dining in restaurants or cafes.

They are listed below:

  • Checking the restaurant’s COVID-19 prevention practices before going
  • If possible, choosing an outdoors restaurant
  • Asking about options for self-parking to remove the need for a valet service
  • Wearing masks when less than 6 feet apart from other people
  • Maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet in any entryway, hallway or waiting area
  • Limit the use of shared utensils, handles, buttons or touchscreens
  • Washing hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant

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