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Risks to consider when eating out during the pandemic

Restaurants may be open for dine-in, but how comfortable do you feel about going to one? What are the risks you need to consider?

We spoke with Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer and infectious disease expert at the University of Michigan to hear her thoughts on dining in.

“There are a few things to think about. one is just if you could eat outdoors, that’s going to be safer than indoors and the nice weather right now, there are some restaurants with outdoor seating,” said Dr. Malani.

If you can’t eat outdoors, you need to look at how effectively the restaurant is maintaining that social distance, says Dr. Malani.

“Hw open does it feel? Does it feel like it’s too crowded? In that case, it probably is,” said Dr. Malani.

Check to see if the staff is following the recommended rules.

“Some of the restaurants have come forth and put out statements saying these are all the different things we’re doing to keep you safe. so certainly take a look at that,” said Dr. Malani. “You can also look at what the other diners are doing. obviously, if you’re eating you can’t wear a mask yourself but is are other people around you, including those who are serving your food and walking you to your table. are they wearing masks?”

But understand, dining in is not the best idea for everyone.

“For folks that really are not comfortable eating out, curbside pickup and delivery options are going to be there. and that would be my suggestion for people, especially those who fall under high-risk categories,” said Dr. Malani.

The bottom line, Dr. Malani says every activity we do will carry some level of risk. It’s up to each of us to decide what level of risk is acceptable.