COVID-19 & Restaurants
A study from China found that people can get COVID-19 from dining out in a restaurant with poor ventilation. Researchers found that over two weeks, 10 people developed COVID-19 from dining in proximity to an individual from Wuhan who was infected with COVID-19.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

Key Finding:

A study from China found that people can get COVID-19 from dining out in a restaurant with poor ventilation. Researchers found that over two weeks, 10 people developed COVID-19 from dining in proximity to an individual from Wuhan who was infected with COVID-19.

Scientists found that 10 individuals developed COVID-19 over 2 weeks after dining next to an infected individual.

Most Likely Culprit: Ventilation

"We conclude that in this outbreak, droplet transmission was prompted by air-conditioned ventilation. The key factor for infection was the direction of the airflow."

Source: CDC

Ventilation systems can pass coronavirus particles between tables at a restaurant. This can potentially be a source of new COVID-19 infections.

Key Facts:Dining during COVID-19

1. It happens

At least one study has found that individuals can pass COVID-19 to other individuals sitting at nearby tables.

2. Ventilation Matters

Ventilation systems may play a role in circulating the virus. The diners at the restaurant who got infected sat at tables that underneath a strong air conditioner that "blew" particles over.

Distance Matters

Generally, COVID-19 viral particles cannot travel too far. Without a strong air conditioner, it's unlikely that viral particles can travel more than 1 meter.

Tips for Dining Out

More Information

How COVID-19 Spreads:

"SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to be mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may also spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose, mouth or eyes, causing infection. "

Why Social Distancing Matters:

"Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home."

What's the best way to wash your hands?

"Alcohol-based hand sanitizer and handwashing reduce the spread of germs between people and surfaces. Both hand hygiene practices require 20 seconds of scrub and drying time to be most effective. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer must be at least 60% alcohol."

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