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Closing bars to stop coronavirus spread is backed by science

17 1 0
03.07.2020

Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.

In the words of one study, it comes down to the danger of “heavy breathing in close proximity."

Crowded indoor spaces filled with people yelling, leaning close to hear one another and touching the same sticky surfaces are “the opposite of social distancing,” said Dr David Hamer of the Boston University School of Medicine.

“Can you do social distancing at a bar? Can you wear a mask while drinking?” Hamer said. “Bars are the perfect place to break all those rules."

The rapid spread of a bar outbreak can swamp public health workers. In East Lansing, Michigan, an outbreak tied to a large brewpub near Michigan State University has spread to nearly 140 people in 12 counties, causing authorities to recruit nursing students and retirees to help with contact tracing.

“In 12 days, we went from two identified cases to 128, and, honestly, I don’t have today’s numbers yet,” Ingham County health officer Linda Vail said before cases shot up again. She described her outlook as........

© Japan Today