Through the coronavirus pandemic, public health experts have warned against indoor dining. Now, a new study from the CDC finds that in counties where states allowed on-site restaurant dining, cases and death rates sped up, while in counties where states required masks, case and death rates slowed. “All of this is very consistent,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during the White House briefing on Friday. “You have decreases in cases and deaths when you wear masks, and you have increases in cases and deaths when you have in-person restaurant dining.” Read on to find out how you can stay safe—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The CDC Study Found COVID Patients Caught the Virus After Dining Indoors
The CDC report said “because the virus is transmitted predominantly by inhaling respiratory droplets from infected persons, universal mask use can help reduce transmission.” To that end, the spread of these droplets make indoor dining particularly risky.
“Increases in COVID-19 case and death growth rates were significantly associated with on-premises dining at restaurants after indoor or outdoor on-premises dining was allowed by the state for >40 days,” says the report. “Several factors might explain this observation. Even though prohibition of on-premises restaurant dining was lifted, restaurants were not required to open and might have delayed reopening. In addition, potential restaurant patrons might have been more cautious when restaurants initially reopened for on-premises dining but might have been more likely to dine at restaurants as time passed. Further analyses are necessary to evaluate the delayed increase in case and death growth rates.”
Or, for more in depth analysis: “Mask mandates were associated with statistically significant decreases in county-level daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation. Allowing on-premises restaurant dining was associated with increases in county-level case and death growth rates within 41–80 days after reopening. State mask mandates and prohibiting on-premises dining at restaurants help limit potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, reducing community transmission of COVID-19.”
Dr. Fauci Has Warned Against Dining Indoors
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned against eating indoors. He only gets delivery. “I feel badly about restaurants losing business, and I feel it's almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat, so even though I can cook at home, several nights a week I go out for takeout purely to support those places," Fauci reportedly told celebrities in a Zoom call.
So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars and restaurants), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.