Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How Bars Are Fueling COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., draws a crowd earlier this month during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

By Will Stone

From the early days of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, states have wrestled with the best course of action for the nation's imperiled bars and nightclubs. Many of these businesses find their economic prospects tied to a virus that preys on their industry's lifeblood — social gatherings in tight quarters.

Public health experts and top health officials, including the Dr. Tony Fauci, say the evidence is abundantly clear: When bars open, infections tend to follow.

Some states moved quickly to shutter bars early in the pandemic for months or longer, keeping them entirely closed or open only under strict conditions. Many other states moved to reopen bars on a faster timeline — only to shut them down again as viral case counts rebounded this summer.  Read more >>