U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As States Lift Restaurant Restrictions, CDC Report Links Dining Out to Increased COVID-19 Risk

People who tested positive for COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to report eating or drinking at a bar or restaurant in the past two weeks

Customers have a lunch outside a restaurant as the city reopens from the coronavirus lockdown on June 15, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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Dining out raises the risk of contracting COVID-19 more than other activities, such as shopping or going to a salon, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings come as many states consider the safest ways to reopen businesses, especially restaurants. On Wednesday, for example, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that limited indoor dining will be allowed in New York City starting Sept. 30.

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The CDC report included 314 people who had COVID-19 symptoms and were subsequently tested for the virus; about half tested positive.

Researchers then asked all participants about their social activities during the two weeks prior to their COVID-19 test. The participants lived in states with varying levels of reopening guidelines: California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

Both groups generally reported similar activities, such as going to church, gyms and stores, with one exception: going out to eat or having drinks at a bar or coffee shop.

Read the full story at NBCNews.com.

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