PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It's a question Arizona diners have been struggling with for weeks. Is it safe to visit your favorite restaurant during the current health crisis?

Alana Burnham of Tempe isn't taking any chances. She's one of many cautious customers, who don't quite feel comfortable eating inside a restaurant right now.

"The instances of transmitting is much higher when you are indoors, especially when you're sitting across from somebody," said Burnham. "Taking off your mask to drink and eat--and if you have a whole room of people doing the same, it just doesn't make sense."

A just released study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that adults who tested positive for COVID-19, were twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant during the two week period prior to getting sick.

Patients were also asked how often they wore a mask in public and whether they recently hung out at a bar, or went to a gym.

Steve Chucri is president of the Arizona Restaurant Association. He said the CDC report is misleading since there is no directly link between COVID-19 cases and visiting a restaurant.

"Yes, in a way I do think this is unfair, because you are comparing a bar to a coffee shop in this study," said Chucri. "How many times did they go to the dry cleaner that week? How many parties did they attend? How many times were they with someone in a bigger setting? So, I think there' s a lot of missing data."

"The protocols we are following are working," said Chucri. "Is every restaurant doing it perfectly? No. And if they aren't, we intercede."

Chucri is hoping the CDC study won't scare people from going out to eat. He said it's up to customers to decide what they feel comfortable with based on precautions each restaurant is taking.

"Is it safe to go dine in at a restaurant throughout the state of Arizona?" asked Chucri. "Yes it is. Is it safe to take-out from a restaurant? Yes it is."

It's important to point out that the CDC study was conducted in 10 different states, each with different types of restrictions on restaurants. Arizona was not included in the study.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you