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Tags: CDC | dining out | restaurants | social distancing | masks

CDC: Dining Out Increases Risk of Catching Coronavirus

people sit outside to eat at nyc restaurants
People eat and drink at tables placed outside of a Manhattan restaurant as the city enters phase two of reopening on June 24, 2020 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 10 September 2020 02:38 PM EDT

If you want to decrease your risk of catching coronavirus, avoid going out to eat.

According to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dining out raises the risk of contracting coronavirus more than other activities like shopping or visiting a salon.

NBC News reports that the findings were released as states continue to lift lockdown restrictions. 

The CDC report included information on 314 people who had virus symptoms. About half tested positive for COVID-19.

According to NBC, researchers asked participants about their social activities during the two weeks prior to their COVID-19 test. The participants lived in California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.

Participants noted they attended church, worked out in gyms, and shopped in retail stores. But not all reported going out to eat or having drinks at a bar or coffee shop, according to NBC News.

The study authors stated that those who tested positive for the virus "were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results."

People who tested positive for the virus without having any known exposure to it were more likely to say they had visited a bar or coffee shop in the previous two weeks.

Co-author of the report Dr. Todd Rice, who is an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the increased risk makes sense because you can’t wear a mask while eating or drinking. In addition, diners are often seated close together.

"If people are going to eat out, they need to be thoughtful about how they're going to do it," said Rice, who lives in Nashville, where restaurants are operating at half capacity.

He told NBC News he has dined out, but he takes several precautions.

"Even if 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 that's next to somebody else," Rice said, adding that he asks to be seated outside.

The study did not ask participants whether they were dining indoors or outdoors.

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US
If you want to decrease your risk of catching coronavirus, avoid going out to eat. According to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dining out raises the risk of contracting coronavirus more than other activities like shopping or...
CDC, dining out, restaurants, social distancing, masks
354
2020-38-10
Thursday, 10 September 2020 02:38 PM
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