Although we’re supposed to wear a mask as we walk INTO a restaurant, what should we do with it while we’re eating? Here are some do’s and don’ts from virology expert Dr. Kent New:
First: Never set your mask on the table, or hang it around your neck, or from one ear. Because airborne droplets could contaminate the inside of your mask. Instead, bring a breathable bag, like a paper bag, to protect your mask and let it dry, because our breath causes moisture to build up, and a wet mask is less effective. You can also fold the mouth-facing side of your mask inside, and use the straps to loop it around your wrist, like a bracelet.
Then: How much risk does your server face? Virology expert Dr. New says the risk is probably low, since the server is wearing a mask and standing, where droplets from seated patrons are less likely to travel upward and reach them.
Finally, the CDC released a new study of adults who tested positive for COVID-19. It found they were twice as likely to have recently dined at a restaurant than those who tested negative. Dr. Todd Rice from Vanderbilt University Medical Center says, that doesn't mean someone caught the virus at a restaurant. Instead, it means that those who dine in restaurants are also more likely to put themselves at risk in other situations.