Dr. Fauci Says This Is The Key To Safe Indoor Dining
It's true, eating at a restaurant may never be the same again. However, most states are offering indoor dining at least in some capacity by this point, and some are even beginning to ease up on dining restrictions. On Saturday, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, revealed the secret to indoor dining safely.
In an Instagram Live conversation, Dr. Fauci discussed COVID-19 and the intricacies of viral transmission with HIV/AIDS-LGBTQ+ activist Peter Staley. In regards to restaurants in New York City reopening their indoor dining rooms on September 30, Staley asked, "Shouldn't these restaurants be encouraged to open windows?"
Dr. Fauci responded: "I think anything that has airflow out, not airflow in the room" is the key for businesses to start reopening their dining rooms. Meaning: Indoor establishments should have plenty of windows or doors open to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus inside. This will allow infectious aerosols to freely move out of the establishment instead of circulating indoors. (Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer)
NYC establishments reopening indoor dining to 25% capacity for the first time since the pandemic began is a major step for independent businesses in the metro area. At the same time, the governors in Indiana and Florida just gave restaurants and bars the green light to operate at full capacity. It's important to note though that these decisions are being made at the same time the U.S. is experiencing a spike in cases. The daily infection rate is now at 44,000 new cases a day, which "indicates that there is community spread," Dr. Fauci said.
"That's what I would've hoped we could avoid: Going into the fall and winter at a very low level of community infection," he added. "Unfortunately, for us, Peter, that's not where we are right now today."
The key to preventing community spread will largely be reliant on restaurants, bars, and other indoor establishments allowing air to flow out via open windows and doors. Still, there's no guarantee that this will be enough to protect staff and customers from the virus, which is why Dr. Fauci has expressed heightened anxiety about states that were hit hardest by coronavirus (such as Florida) entering Phase 3 of reopening.
"Well that is very concerning to me, I mean, we have always said that, myself and Dr. Deborah Birx, who is the coordinator of the task force, that that is something we really need to be careful about," Fauci told ABC's Good Morning America.
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