During an appearance on MSNBC, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Anthony Fauci, explained to All In host Chris Hayes that the CDC had just come out with a new study that assesses the risks of acquiring COVID-19 at various types of businesses.
Fauci pointed out how Arizona, New York, and Texas slowed the spread of COVID-19 significantly by closing gyms, bars, and restaurants.
“In fact, the CDC just came out, if you go on their website, with a figure that’s really telling. It shows the odds of risk of different types of situations that give you a higher risk of transmissibility,” said Fauci.
The report he is referring to, included “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.”
To put it in easier to understand terms, the study revealed that in the past two weeks, 7.8 percent of adults in the study who had COVID-19 had visited a gym, 8.5 percent had visited a bar or coffee shop, and a whopping 40.9 percent had eaten at a restaurant in the past two weeks.
In this investigation, participants with and without COVID-19 reported generally similar community exposures, with the exception of going to locations with on-site eating and drinking options. Adults with confirmed COVID-19 (case-patients) were approximately twice as likely as were control-participants to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill.
In addition to dining at a restaurant, case-patients were more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop, but only when the analysis was restricted to participants without close contact with persons with known COVID-19 before illness onset.
Reports of exposures in restaurants have been linked to air circulation. Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance. Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use.
“When you have restaurants indoors in a situation were you have a high degree of infection in the community [and] you’re not wearing a mask, that’s a problem,” said Fauci.
“And that’s the reason why we have very, very clear when we make a recommendation, depending upon the level of infection in the community, you’ve got to look very carefully at things like bars as a really important place of spreading of infection,” he added. “There’s no doubt about that. And that becomes particularly important if you happen to be in an area with a high degree of community spread. So those are things that are crystal clear.”
Try telling that to the anti-masker crowd, especially in Florida.