CDC Links Restaurant Dining with Spread of Covid-19 in U.S.

‘You Have Increases in Cases and Deaths When You Have In-Person Restaurant Dining’

By Anna Breuer on 6 March 2021
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that research concretely shows a link between on-premises dining at restaurants and an increase in the number of cases of and deaths from the coronavirus.

“In cases where counties in the United States allowed on-premises dining, case and death rates sped up,” the researchers said.  Further, “in counties where states required masks, case and death rates slowed.”

The research was conducted by health scientists at the CDC and led by Gery Guy, Jr., whose focus includes policy evaluation. The findings were published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.

“All of this is very consistent,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a White House briefing on Friday. “You have decreases in cases and deaths when you wear masks, and you have increases in cases and deaths when you have in-person restaurant dining.”

The researchers compared county-level data on mask mandates on and restaurant re-openings with county-level changes in Covid-19 cases and death growth rates over the period March 1 through December 1, 2020, comparing case and death rates from period during which mask mandates were in place and restaurants were closed to on-premises dining to periods where mask mandates were no longer in place and on-premises dining, either indoor or outdoor was permitted.

The researchers found that mask mandates „were associated with decreases in daily Covid-19 case and death growth rates,“ and that“[A]llowing any on-premises dining at restaurants was associated with increases in daily COVID-19 case growth rates.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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