CDC study examines COVID-19 health risks at restaurants

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s still controversial for some: dine in or take out.

Tonight, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study is raising concerns about COVID-19 risks at restaurants, showing coronavirus patients are twice as likely to have eaten in restaurants before they got sick.

8 News Now spoke to diners and people running restaurants about the study.

“We just do it when we can or when we just want something different,” said Glyness, who is visiting Las Vegas.

The study followed 314 adults who showed COVID-19 symptoms and tested at one of 11 facilities across 10 states in July. One hundred and fifty-four tested positive, 160 negative.

“I think it’s difficult for guests to not want to go out to a restaurant, not want to go to the grocery store, not want to go out to eat or go shopping,” said Zachary Substanley, general manager of Mama Bird Southern Kitchen.

Substanley is familiar with the results of the study.

“I mean, you can easily say that most of these people also went to a grocery store within the last six months,” he said. “Restaurants are going to be a place where people congregate, especially those that have really good food.”

Substanley says they adhere to health district guidelines and the governor’s directives.

“We look at the industry, we look at other partners, in terms of what they are doing, for example, we looked at nail salons and saw some of the barriers they put out. We did the exact same thing,” Substanley explained.

They also limit the number of guests, have signs, use restaurant disposables, check employee temperatures and remind diners to use a mask. They also change the air filters on a regular basis to avoid spreading the virus.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our guests to be able to enjoy great food and feel safe doing so,” said Substanley.

Linda Kyle is not yet ready to dine in.

“I would say cook at home more and try to avoid eating out,” said Kyle.

Glyness isn’t too concerned about exposure if restaurants are following guidelines.

“The restaurants are doing what they are suppose to do, you know, we have our hand sanitizer, we’re six feet apart, we’re eating outside,” she said.

Substanley stresses, “Your help, your assistance of wearing a mask and social distance allows us all to continue doing what we like to do.

The study also found that those who tested both positive and negative did go to gyms, hair salons, shops and attended in-home gatherings.

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