Hidden risks of outdoor dining

I have just been notified by a restaurant that I have visited on July 15 and on July 18 for outdoor dinning that one of their employee who had worked from July 15-18 is now positive with COVID-19.
I will now have to get myself tested, again!!, or self isolate for 14 days or both. All the servers at the restaurant were gloved, wearing face masks and face shields.
Thus one is still taking one’s chances when dinning al fresco at places where outside dinning protocols as recommended by the state are observed.


Hopefully you’ll test negative.

Which restaurant is it? Did they announce that they’ll undergo deep cleaning?

sorry to hear this.

i’m curious as to how the restaurant knew how to contact you. is taking names and contact info part of the protocol nowadays? if they happened to know you and/or have credit card info or something like that, strangers who pay cash are going to be at even higher risk.

Having dealt with HAACP plans and just common sense I think if you are concerned about covid you should stay away from restaurants. If there’s bussing and running involved with non disposables, and they aren’t being very very careful its pretty hard to totally contain biological cross contamination.

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OP porbably made an online reservation.

It is 100% assumed by normal people that eating out, or even ordering take-out increases risk of infection.


Yes. I made the reservation online. Yes, they have instituted deep cleaning. And yes, all plates, water glasses and utensils were disposable.


If the server was masked and didn’t get close to you, there’s roughly zero chance that they infected you. To date there have been no documented cases of infection in such situations. Nor have there been any documented cases of infection from surfaces or food.


I hope you test negative, as well.

I don’t know if I’d call it a “hidden” risk. Given the precautions this restaurant seems to have taken (including being organized and ethical enough to notify you), I do agree that there’s a pretty low chance that you were infected.


Hearing from @robert, ‘presumably a health expert’, that my chance of getting infected is minimal is reassuring.
I have been tested once for the PCR test last month. It was unpleasant but not painful. It was negative.
For now, I rather not endure it again and will self isolate for the next 14 days.

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Everyone has different perspectives, but I eat out every day assuming that 5% of the masked staff have corona.

Based on what I’ve read to date (a lot), I don’t think someone outside, wearing a mask, and keeping their distance is a risk. On the other hand, I still haven’t tested that theory by eating at an outdoor restaurant.

The most recent County re-opening orders required restaurants to get contact info where practicable, so that there could be contact tracing if a case was traced to the restaurant or someone who ate there. At least on restaurant has apparently filed suit objecting to the order.


When we went to both Hatchet Hall and Rossoblu, they asked us to write our phone numbers down on the receipt just in case any one got sick that night and they had to contact trace.


I dined the other night at Misfit in Santa Monica. They were collecting names and phone numbers of all walk-ins.


that sounds eminently practical to me. perhaps the restaurant in question has an unusually high percentage of practicing philanderers or something who’d prefer to remain anonymous. of course, people could just lie when prompted for contact info.

Would just add that falling eaves stated these servers were donning masks AND shields. Studies have shown shields without masks provide even more safety than a non-N95 mask, so together, they afford even more protection. Mask :mask: + Shield :shield: = :+1:

You sure about this?

Same question here, what studies? I’ve read a lot about SARS-CoV-19 and haven’t seen anything about shields yet.

I should have said “opinion piece”, not study.

JAMA - Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community Face Shields and Containment of COVID-19

Of course, it should be shield vs. mask. LA County requires both in restaurants.