Thursday, November 12, 2020

Stanford Study Suggests Indoor Dining Presents Huge COVID-19 Infection Risk

 Restaurants are “by far the riskiest places,” researcher says.

 A new study suggests that indoor dining, more than many other activities, can help spread COVID-19 Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Eve Batey, Eater

A study of cell phone mobility data might give researchers the clearest look yet at how COVID-19 spreads across regions including the Bay Area — but the results are bad news for restauranteurs reliant on packed dining rooms to stay afloat.

Published in peer-reviewed research Nature on November 10, the study from researchers at Stanford University, Northwestern University, and San Francisco’s Chan Zuckerberg Biohub examined cell phone data from 10 U.S. cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.) from March to May of this year.

According to the New York Times, the study followed the movement of 98 million people to and from indoor public spaces, then calculated traffic to each spot visited as well as how long people stay and each venue’s square footage. Using the area’s infection rate, they then used “standard infectious disease assumptions” to determine how the illness spread across cities.  Read more >>