CDC report links dining out to increased COVID-19 risk

Those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, “were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results,” the study authors wrote. And those who were diagnosed without any known exposure to the virus were more likely to report having visited a bar or coffee shop in the previous two weeks.

The increased risk makes sense; it’s easy to wear a mask in stores or in places of worship, but it’s nearly impossible to do so while eating and drinking, said Dr. Todd Rice, a co-author of the report and an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

In addition to being maskless, individuals are often close together when eating at a restaurant, sitting across the table from one another.