The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in a new report that dining out in restaurants that offer on-site food and drinks is associated with a higher risk of being infected by the CCP virus.
According to the report, people who tested positive for the virus were twice as likely to have gone out to a dine-in restaurant than someone who tested negative.
The study was conducted through an investigation of outpatients at 11 separate health care centers. The study initially recruited 802 people at or older than 18, but it was later narrowed to 314 people for the final sample size.
These 314 were then divided into 154 people who had tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, with 160 of them as a control group, indicating that these individuals had tested negative for the virus.
During the investigation, both groups were asked about their activities 14 days prior to their symptoms. The study found almost no difference in some of the activities that the two groups took part in, such as shopping, going to the gym, or visiting church.
However, the similarities stopped when asked about visiting restaurants or similar on-site dining locations such as coffee shops and bars.
“Adults with confirmed COVID-19 (case-patients) were approximately twice as likely as were control-participants to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill,” the study stated.
Furthermore, the same patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were also the ones likely to have reported visiting a coffee shop or a bar. However, out of all the people who tested positive for COVID-19, that question was limited to individuals within the group who did not have any contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19 beforehand.
The study concluded that “eating and drinking on-site at locations that offer such options might be important risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The CDC still encourages individuals to stay home when possible and stated that food services—drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curbside pickup—are the safest options for eating out, as they present the lowest risk.
“COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection,” CDC stated.