Topic: Is outdoor dining in a tent safe during COVID-19 pandemic?
Many restaurants have turned to tents as an outdoor dining option as the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to stop offering indoor dining. But is it safe?
The safest option is to eat at home. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of adults tested for COVID-19 found that those who tested positive were about twice as likely as those who tested negative to have dined at a restaurant in the two weeks before they became ill.
“Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking,” the researchers wrote.
And the lowest risk option for restaurants is to limit food service to drive-thru, delivery, takeout and curbside pick-up only, according to the CDC.
The CDC rates outdoor seating with reduced capacity for social distancing as “more risk” of COVID-19 spread, and rates indoor dining with distancing or outdoor dining without six feet between tables as “higher risk.” Indoor dining without spacing as ranked as “highest risk.”
For diners who do opt to eat out, the CDC recommends wearing masks as much as possible, social distancing and washing hands when entering and exiting the restaurant.
If the tents are properly vented, they can be safer than indoor dining. Tents need to have air flow so droplets carrying COVID-19 can’t build up inside, The Wall Street Journal reported. And that doesn’t just mean windows. Lisa Brosseau, an export on respiratory protection and infectious disease, told the Journal that a device needs to be moving air in and out of the space.
Topic Discussed: Is outdoor dining in a tent safe during COVID-19 pandemic?