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Restaurants are High-risk COVID-19 Infection Hotspots, CDC Suggests

Jan, 2021

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The research was set to identify environments where individuals might be at the highest risk of contracting the virus.

According to new research by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), restaurants are the most commonly shared activity among adults with COVID-19. The research has shown that eating and drinking in a restaurant is a particularly high-risk activity during this global epidemic. According to the research, individuals with COVID-19 are more likely (twice) to dine in a restaurant, compared to individuals without COVID-19. The novel coronavirus is heavily affecting the global population. Older adults and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, seem to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the infection.

During this research, the researchers examined data collected from around 314 adults with COVID-19, who were tested for and showed symptoms of COVID-19 at various centers in the United States. Around half of the participants tested positive (trial group) whereas the reaming half tested negative (control group). Moreover, the researchers gathered detailed behavioral and demographic data through interviews. The team then compared both the trial group and the control group and found no differences between both groups in most behavioral patterns. Both groups frequently used public transport and visited gyms and hair salon.

The researchers found that compared to those from the control group, individuals from the trial group were twice as likely to dine in a restaurant. However, individuals from both groups reported similar community exposures, with the exemption of visiting places with on-site eating and drinking options. Adults with COVID-19 (trial group) were twice as likely to be ill as control-participants who reported a meal in a restaurant before becoming ill. The research was set to identify environments where individuals might be at the highest risk of contracting the virus. According to the team, a restaurant could be a high-risk environment due to the need to remove masks for eating.

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