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The CDC Just Warned About Dining Indoors in Certain Restaurants

Eating out might not be the best idea in poorly-ventilated spaces.
Woman at the entrance to a closed clothing store.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of an inevitable surge of COVID infections due to the holiday season. In order to minimize the damage, they issued new guidance surrounding holiday travel and reduced the amount of recommended quarantine time for most people. During the event they also revealed other things that individuals can do to decrease their risk of infection. One of those? Avoid indoor dining. Read on for their warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

The CDC Said Now is Not the Time to Be "Dining" In Poorly-Ventilated Restaurants

"You know, the surge upon surge is obviously a concern," Henry Walke, MD, COVID-19 Incident Manager, admitted. "We have never really gone back down to the baseline." He explained that after an increase of cases over the summer and another surge following that, cases never came below 20,000 or 10,000 cases per day. "So as we approached the fall, we saw this rapid increase an exponential increase in cases," he continued. "And now with the holiday season, with the Thanksgiving holiday, we would expect to see the tick up in seven to 10 days after that holiday."

When asked about potential transmission in indoor areas — especially with cooling temperatures — he mentioned "restaurant dining." 

"Outdoor is safer than indoor," he said, echoing the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci. "We're concerned about indoor spaces, poorly ventilated indoor spaces — restaurants are typically some of those spaces where transmission can occur." While he suggests avoiding "these crowded indoor spaces" altogether, if you do opt to eat at a restaurant he suggests "trying to open the windows" to provide ventilation and also to "dine outside."

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds

Note the CDC Guidelines for Eating Out

The CDC has a number of guidelines on their website regarding dining at restaurants. They also published research in September finding that patients with symptomatic COVID-19 infections were more likely to have eaten at a restaurant — including indoor, patio and outdoor seating — in the 2 weeks prior to symptom onset.

"Reports of exposures in restaurants have been linked to air circulation," the authors wrote. "Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance." Dr. Anthony Fauci, for one, orders in delivery or gets take out, to support the restaurants in his neighborhood. So eat carefully, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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