After a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that eating out could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, Los Angeles County health officials reminded residents Saturday to limit non-essential activities, especially since young people continue to lead the county’s latest infections.
The CDC study released Thursday found that adults who tested positive for the coronavirus were about twice as likely to report dining in a restaurant than people who tested negative. Most of the adults who tested positive in the study were between the ages of 18 and 44.
“This serves as a reminder to residents to minimize nonessential activities, such as eating out, which puts them in close contact with people who are not in their family and creates the risk of COVID-1
Of the 1,177 new cases reported in the county on Saturday, 71 percent were people under the age of 50. Most of them – 35 percent – were residents between the ages of 30 and 49, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.
“We need the help of our young county residents to slow the spread even more than we are doing now, so we can move to lower levels that allow more business sectors and schools to reopen,” said Barbara Ferrer, director. county health care in the release. “This means that this is not the time for non-essential activities and social gatherings, but a time to distance yourself and avoid close contact with people you don’t live with.”
L.A. County recorded a total of 253,176 coronavirus positive cases with 6,197 deaths. While the county’s daily coronavirus numbers have declined from the alarming peak recorded in previous months, the virus is still widespread in the county, officials said.
In the new color-coded four-tier state system to drive corporate sector reopenings, L.A. County the more restrictive phase remains in the purple level, or level 1, indicating that the level of risk for the transmission of COVID-19 is “widespread”.
This means that, for now, restaurants in L.A. County they can only open for outdoor dining and with changes. Once the county goes red, it can open its restaurants for indoor dining with a capacity of 25%.
The new CDC study did not differentiate between those who dined indoors or outdoors in the two weeks leading up to the positive test for coronavirus.
“Exposures and activities where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to places that offer food or drink on-site, could be important risk factors for COVID-19 acquisition,” we read in the study. “As communities reopen, efforts to reduce possible exposures in places that offer on-site eating and drinking options to protect customers, employees and communities should be considered.”
The study looked at data from 314 symptomatic people in several states, including California. They were all tested for the virus in July, and 154 of them tested positive.
Of those who tested positive, 63 said they had been to a restaurant and 13 said they had been to a bar or coffee shop, according to the CDC.
Everyone was also asked if they were shopping, hosting home meetings with 10 or more people, or visiting gyms, salons, or barbershops. There were no significant differences in those categories between those who tested positive and those who did not.
It is still unclear whether a study with a much larger group would have the same results.
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