Those who go out to eat more at risk of COVID-19, CDC finds

CDC report sparks new concerns about dining out

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A CDC report finds people who have COVID-19 are twice as likely to have gone out to eat before showing symptoms.

Many restaurants are stepping up protocols to reduce the possibility of transmission, but health experts say the risk is still there.

“What we really have to remember is that we’re talking about people being in congregate settings,” said Dr. Karen Landers, ADPH.

The CDC worked with 11 research centers nationally to study what factors COVID-19 patients shared, and going out to eat or getting coffee were “significant”

Most places mandate masks while standing or walking around, but that may not be enough.

“They need to be wearing masks while waiting to dine,” she said. And when you’re done eating, put it back on.

Reducing risk may also mean reducing the fun of going out to eat.

“We are balancing the need for persons to have social interaction and be with friends and family and also keep businesses running with reality of the fact that we have a respiratory droplet spread virus,” Landers explained.

Eating outdoors is a safer bet. If you do eat inside, make sure tables are spaced out from other groups of people.

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