This Is the One Place You Need to Avoid Right Now, Says COVID Testing Czar
Stay away from your local watering hole, especially in coronavirus hotspots, says Admiral Brett Giroir.
Admiral Brett Giroir, the White House's coronavirus testing czar, is imploring Americans to do their part to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. During a Tuesday morning appearance on Today, he advised viewers what they should and shouldn't be doing amid the pandemic. And, according to Giroir, there's one place people should absolutely avoid: bars. "I want everybody to understand you've got to physically distance, wear your mask, avoid bars, close bars in those hot areas, reduce capacity," Giroir said. "If we keep doing these things, those early indicators will turn for us," he added.
Bars have been named time and time again as one of the most dangerous places to visit amid the coronavirus pandemic. In June, MLive asked four infectious disease doctors to assess the risk of 36 activities—from going to the gym to getting on an airplane—1 being the least risky and 10 being the most. At the top of the list with a score of nine was going to a bar or nightclub. "After a couple of drinks, [people are] starting to feel a little more invincible," Nasir Husain, MD, Henry Ford Macomb medical director for infection prevention, told MLive. "And that's when the trouble starts."
Similarly, a July survey from the Texas Medical Association's COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases had physicians rank 37 places and activities on how likely they are to result in COVID transmission on a scale of 1 to 10; bars topped that list as well.
On top of the decreased inhibitions, there are multiple reasons bars are very risky amid the pandemic. They're typically filled with large crowds, talking loudly, poor ventilation, and there's the obvious lack of mask-wearing while drinking, all of which make your local watering hole one of the most dangerous place to go.
In fact, as of July 2, one Michigan bar was linked to at least 152 new coronavirus infections, despite the fact that the bar limited its capacity to 45 percent and spaced its tables six feet apart.
For more on where your COVID risk factor is high, check out These Are the Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus, Doctors Say.