CDC Cautions People on Dining Out, as States Ease Down on Mitigation Restrictions
The CDC released a report that cautions people about eating in restaurants, as such activities present higher risks of exposure to the coronavirus while in public venues. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control predicts that by early October, in roughly a matter of 3 weeks, about 25,000 fatalities will be added to the present death toll of 192,000.
The report came out ahead of the center’s monthly update and in the wake of state government announcements about easing down on mitigation measures. The most is New York, where NY Governor Cuomo announced that effective September 30, 2020, restaurants can reopen for indoor dining but only at 25 percent capacity.
Why the Centers for Disease Control Believe that Dining Out Increases Risk of Exposure
Based on an analysis of 300 people who underwent testing for showing symptoms of COVID-19, the CDC reported that dining out is still a major health threat. Mainly because of the fact that when eating and drinking, it is difficult to maintain mask use and safe distancing as a means to reduce possible exposures. The report warns:
“Eating and drinking on-site at locations ….might be important risk factors associated with COVID-19 infection.”
The analysis indicated that compared to those who tested negative, it is anticipated that about half of those who tested positive are likely to have dined at some restaurant, two weeks before they started showing symptoms. The report though did not specify whether those who did so had drank or ate in an indoor or outdoor dining area.
Although the people who underwent testing reported engaging in similar activities in the 14-day period prior to experiencing the coronavirus symptoms, 74% of those who had tested negative said they always had their mask on, or some form of face coverings while in public places. Whereas, only 71% of those who tested positive made the same claim.
Inasmuch as restaurant diners cannot effectively wear protective masks when eating and drinking, the CDC concluded that dining out tends to raise the risk of catching the viral infection; as opposed to shopping, or even going to a salon and other activities that do not preclude putting a mask on as protection.