Dining out, going to pubs linked to contracting coronavirus: United States study

Trump's Department of Health adapts CDC report on COVID-19 to fit President's message Report

As researchers continue to look at how the coronavirus is spreading across the USA, a new study that looked at two childcare centers in Utah found infected children under the age of ten have been shown to spread the virus to at least one to four people outside the childcare facility.

However, the similarities stopped when asked about visiting restaurants or similar on-site dining locations such as coffee shops and bars.

"Masks can not be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use", the study says. Restaurants have to follow an array of guidelines and protocols in order to offer indoor dining, including limiting tables to just four people indoors, having sneeze guards and partitions throughout the restaurant and restricting capacity to just 25 percent. That is both groups had a lot of similarities when it came to shopping, home gatherings with less than 10 people, going to the office, gym visits, going to a salon, using public transportation, or attending religious gatherings. But those who dined at restaurants tested positive at a higher rate.

Donald Trump's messages to the public have frequently attacked the shutdowns in place to prevent the further spread of Covid-19, including a recent tweet in which he claims New York City mayor Bill DiBlasio and state governor Andrew Cuomo are "destroying the place" by allowing safety measures to remain intact as the city slowly reopens.

Tests were compiled from 11 different healthcare facilities in 10 states, which included: California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. Additionally, they recommend an increased availability of COVID-19 testing, including "timely results and testing of contacts of patients in child care settings regardless of symptoms".

Children in childcare are catching COVID-19 and spreading it to adults, especially immediate family members like siblings and parents, a new report by the CDC finds.

They said such exposures in restaurants could be linked to air circulation.

The scientists also noted certain limitations of the study. The study suggests that situations "where mask use and social distancing are hard to maintain, including going to places that offer onsite eating or drinking, might be important risk factors for acquiring COVID-19". The CDC says more research is needed to determine whether the same results will be found in a larger sample size.

"Implementing safe practices to reduce exposures to SARS-CoV-2 during on-site eating and drinking should be considered to protect customers, employees, and communities, and slow the spread of COVID-19", the scientists concluded.



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