These 2 Places Could Be Closing Soon, White House Official Warns

The top health official admitted it might be ordered to help curb the current surge.

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the U.S., more health experts are beginning to recommend drastic action to help keep outbreaks in check. This includes reinstating some of the tactics used in the earlier days of the pandemic, including forcing certain types of businesses to shutter. Now, a White House official has said that bars and restaurants could be closing soon to help turn COVID surges around. Read on to see why it may come to this, and for more on why such policies might be necessary, check out It Only Takes This Long to Get COVID in a Room With Someone Who Has It.

During an on-air interview with CBS's Face the Nation on Nov. 29, Deborah Birx, MD, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, was asked about public health measures that could be put in place to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. "If you have high case numbers and you're seeing increased hospitalizations, the first thing you should do is close spaces where people cannot wear a mask," she explained. "And we know where that is. That's bars and indoor restaurants. Reduce capacity if needed [but] you may have to even close them."

While the decision to force businesses to close remains a highly contentious debate and is made on a local or state level, Birx pointed out a success story where forcing the hospitality industry to briefly shutter was successful.

"We have seen that that works. That's what Arizona did," she pointed out. "And that's where Arizona got control. Arizona is in the position that they need to be really considering this again, because their case numbers are up where they were in the summer."

But bars and restaurants aren't the only venues where COVID is likely to spread. Read on to find out which other venues you should avoid, and for more on signs you could be sick, check out If You Have This Symptom, There's an 80 Percent Chance You Have COVID.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Cafés and coffee shops

A smiling young woman drinking coffee while looking out the window.

According to research published in the journal Nature on Nov. 10, which analyzed cellular phone data during the spring in 10 major metro areas, coffee shops provide the kind of atmosphere where friends tend to linger while chatting indoors without masks, greatly increasing the risk of spreading COVID. The recently published study included them among the most likely culprits to be involved in spreading the virus early on in the pandemic. And for more on when it'll be safe to go out without your face covered, read up on Exactly When Dr. Fauci Says We Can "Throw Our Masks Away."


Businesswoman at reception, paying for hotel room.

The study found that infections from hotels peaked around the same time young people were flocking to spring break parties at popular beaches in Florida such as Miami. Not surprisingly, the study also found that those numbers dropped dramatically after stringent lockdown orders went into effectThe Washington Post reports. And for more on the spots you should avoid, consider 4 Places Dr. Fauci Says He Wouldn't Go Right Now.

Places of worship

People wearing masks in church

While it's an important activity for millions, the act of congregating to worship ranks high on the list of risky activities for a few reasons: It brings people close together indoors who are also often singing. The Nature study authors also point out that houses of worship are disproportionately high-risk venues.

In a supplementary opinion piece also published in NatureMarc Lipsitch, PhD, and Kevin C. Ma from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health wrote that "case studies of clusters of infections in locations such as those for indoor choir practice…demonstrate the high risks of poorly ventilated, crowded spaces." And for more regular coronavirus updates, sign up for our daily newsletter.



The pandemic may have created more of an urge for people to sweat out their stress, but unfortunately, the gym was ironically listed in the study as one of the venues most responsible for spreading COVID. And while many are struggling to stay afloat financially, Ma and Lipsitch point out that "time-limited visits to places such as gyms….could be modeled by decreasing the average visit length," lowering the risk factor for those working out. And for more on how you can tell if you're already sick, check out This Is the Easiest Way to Tell If You've Been Exposed to COVID.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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