Going out to eat at a restaurant might be more risky than other activities during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What the study found:

Those who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely than those who tested negative to have said they went to a restaurant before they got sick.

  • The restaurants were defined as “any area designated by the restaurant, including indoor, patio and outdoor seating.”

“Findings from a case-control investigation of symptomatic outpatients from 11 U.S. health care facilities found that close contact with persons with known COVID-19 or going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options were associated with COVID-19 positivity.”

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Method:

The CDC study looked into the risks associated with doing different activities during the pandemic.

  • 314 people were tested. Half tested positive and half tested negative.
  • The participants came from California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.
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Researchers asked each participants what they had done in the two weeks before they tested positive for COVID-19, including wear a face mask, going to a restaurant, drinking at a bar, going to a gym or visiting a salon.

The takeaway

  • CDC said: “Eating and drinking on-site at locations that offer such options might be important risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Efforts to reduce possible exposures where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, such as when eating and drinking, should be considered to protect customers, employees and communities.”