Eating Out Puts You at Bigger Risk for COVID-19, Study Says

By The Captain September 24, 2020

Wellness Captain Eating Out Puts Risk For COVID-19

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 were much more likely to have eaten at a restaurant in the previous two weeks.

The study analyzed data from 154 subjects tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, along with other 160 patients who received negative results. Researchers looked at the participants’ mask-wearing habits and their daily routine, including eating at restaurants, visiting beauty salons or attending other indoor events.

In fact, there weren’t so many differences between those who tested positive and the negative patients. However, we already know that even small differences can mean so much in terms of disease prevention. People who tested negative for the virus were:

  • More likely to be white;
  • Have a college degree;
  • Suffer from at least one underlying condition.

On the other hand, those who tested positive for COVID-19 were significantly more likely to have come in close contact with someone already diagnosed with the illness. But there’s one more thing…


Eating out

41% of the people tested positive for COVID-19 said they had eaten at a restaurant in the previous 14 days.

By comparison, only 28% of those who tested negative reported going out to eat a meal.

Even so, we have to admit that the study results are still blurry. First of all, the data didn’t analyze the number of people who ate at restaurants outdoors and those who sat indoors to grab a bite. Why does it matter? Because, as we already know, spending more than 15 minutes indoors in a poorly ventilated room significantly increases the risk of getting COVID-19.

Therefore, regardless of this detail, these results from CDC prove that eating out is still risky. Now one question remains: is it worth the risk?


RELATED: How to Use Public Toilets During COVID-19


Should you eat out?

One possible scenario for the COVID-19 pandemic is that the majority of the population will have become infected at one point or another. The world has to go on and this includes businesses considered to provide a higher risk for infection, like restaurants and beauty salons.

Furthermore, the modern world has been put through so much stress during 2020 that people are desperately seeking some normality. Going to a restaurant to eat is part of our pre-pandemic routine, so it’s obviously tempting.

If you decide to take this risk, make sure to follow every procedure recommended by the CDC: wear a mask, maintain social distance, try to only sit at tables placed outside and choose locations that take all safety measures.

Even so, if you can, opt for takeout or delivery services as often as you can. We can’t eliminate every risk of getting COVID-19, but we do know that taking all the measures we can helps a lot to flatten the curve. Please, stay safe for the greater good of the nation.


Did you go to a restaurant recently? How was your experience? Share your story in the comments and let’s chat!

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Wellness Captain