CDC report: Restaurants linked to increased COVID-19 risk

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A new CDC report says people who dine out are more likely to spread COVID-19. People in the study who tested positive were two times as likely to have gone to a restaurant or bar.

The report sampled 314 individuals with coronavirus-like symptoms from several states, including Ohio. About half tested positive.

All participants were asked about their activies two weeks prior to becoming sick.

Everyone reported similar activities like going to church, the gym and shopping, with one exception: those who went to a restaurant, bar or coffee shop were two times as likely to test positive for COVID-19.

Restaurants like Salar in the Oregon District say the CDC’s report is worrisome, but they’re doing everything they can to prevent the spread of coronavirus at their restaurant.

“That’s why we take all the precautions so seriously with our guests, with our employees,” Salar General Manager Brandi Perrine said. “Obviously we’re a restaurant, we keep everything in tip top clean shape all the time, but even more so now.”

Premier Health Regional Medical Director Dr. Joesph Allen said several factors contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in restaurants, including limited mask use, lack of social distancing at tables and sharing food.

“I think we just are returning to some normalcy and we just, even as individuals, even if the restaurants are very diligent, as individuals we don’t follow as close because we’re kind of reverting back to where we were a couple of months ago before all this stuff hit,” Allen said.

The CDC also reports exposure has been linked to air circulation.

Perrine said the restaurant is using opportunities like Out on 5th weekends to expand their outdoor dining, which the CDC says has a lower risk than indoor dining.

“We’re just kind of taking small steps to see what we can do to increase our capacity to get more guests in here so they can enjoy a night out and be safe and healthy,” Perrine said.

Allen said he doesn’t want to discourage people from going to restaurants, he is just encouraging folks to wear a mask as much as possible and be careful.


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