CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Indicates Community and Close Contact Exposures, Including From On-Site Dining, May Be Risk Factors for Spread of COVID-19
On Thursday, September 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The article, “Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated With COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities—United States, July 2020,” reports findings from a sample of 314 symptomatic patients who actively sought testing from 11 different healthcare facilities throughout the U.S. during the period of July 1–29, 2020. Of the 314 patients, 154 returned positive RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests.
Those who retuned positive test results were nearly twice as likely to report dining at a restaurant in the 2 weeks preceding illness onset than those who indicated a negative test result. Restricting the group to those who returned a positive test and did not have known close contact to a person with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in the 2 weeks preceding illness onset, patients were still more likely to report dining at a restaurant or going to a bar/coffee shop than those who returned negative test results. The study did not differentiate between indoor and outdoor dining.
CDC notes that it is not possible to adhere to correct mask use when eating or drinking, which may play a role in rates of spread. Therefore, further efforts to reduce possible exposure should be considered for the safety of customers, employees, and communities.
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