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COVID’s final call: The state issues a curfew to avoid bar shutdown

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As states and cities across the country have curfewed bars and restaurants to limit the spread of COVID-19, various calls have been made to the “last call.”

In Massachusetts, eateries must be out of service at 9:30 pm. In New York, Ohio, Oklahoma is increasingly setting bar and restaurant closures for indoor dining at 10 pm. Can keep the round In Virginia, alcohol needs to be removed from the table at 10 pm, but the restaurant is open until midnight.

The outbreak of the coronavirus dates back to bars and restaurants, and the curfew is not only for the governor, but for many restaurant and bar owners who see it as an appetizing alternative to quitting indoors altogether. Is also accepted.

“I think things need to be a little harsher,” said David Lopez, general manager of Manny’s Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, and the next chairman of the city’s restaurant association. Mayor Quinton Lucas ordered a curfew at 10 pm, which came into effect on Friday.

“When the store closes at 10 pm, it takes away a significant portion of the time people are standing without masks,” Lopez said. “Standing in the same place every hour makes you more susceptible to the virus.”

How many justify the curfew, in addition to case reports that as the night goes on, older sets of compliant diners are replaced by younger, more rebellious, and often more drunken patrons. There is empirical evidence of that. Minnesota public health officials found that among those who visited the restaurant with a positive COVID-19 test, those who visited after 9 pm were twice as likely to be part of an outbreak cluster. Did.

For some epidemiologists, setting a cutoff time ignores the fact that the coronavirus does not comply with the curfew. However, they favor tools that help slow the spread.

“This is half the scale, perhaps less than half, but better than no scale at all,” said Raymond Niaura, interim chairman of the Department of Epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Health.

From June 1st to November 16th, 190 outbreaks in Minnesota (involving 3,201 infected people) were traced back to restaurants and bars by public health authorities. This represents 46% of outbreaks in public places. Weddings occur second, 107 (14%), followed by sports (11%), gyms (11%), social gatherings (9%), churches (4%), funerals (3%). ) Followed. Of the 250,000 infectious diseases in Minnesota, there were a total of 4,145 endemic cases from all these types of gatherings. Catalog Since the pandemic began.

The benefits of a curfew may come from reducing the number of regulars in restaurants and bars, rather than primarily targeting late-night delights. “Their effect is to reduce the amount of time people can get together,” said Stephen Kistler, a researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

so Interview with KHNDr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed widespread concern about eating indoors given the aggressive COVID-19 epidemic. Fouch did not distinguish between time zones.

“If we are in the hot zone as we are now and there are so many infections around us, especially if the restaurant is at full capacity, even being in the restaurant will be very unpleasant.” He said.

For those who go to bars and restaurants, the curfew offers some additional protection, Forch said. “When we see what happens in the evening, people drink a few drinks, get a little loose, and when they’re wearing a mask, they start to take off their masks and relax their vigilance,” he said.

Curfew and closures are frustrating for many restaurant owners and tavern owners who struggle with the spring closure round, enforce mask and distance rules, and actively disinfect tables and bathrooms. I have.

Sean Kenion, who owns three restaurants and bars in Denver, said: “I knew there was a second wave, but I thought society had enough equipment and information to deal with it.”

Mr Kenion said late-night Bergore had problems only with facilities that did not strictly enforce the rules, adding that it would take effort given the counterattack from patrons who did not want to wear masks on admission. When he used the door check ID, he said, “The vitriol that we spit out on us for the past six months was incredible.”

Restaurant owners claim that infections that have passed through the facility are being reduced by infections that occur at gatherings. “In Minnesota, contact tracing has a small percentage of restaurants and bars,” said David Benowitz, Chief Operating Officer of the five Craft & Crew locations in and around Twin Cities.

Curfew is not just a state in the United States. In Canada Saskatchewan restaurant and nightclub ordered Italy has ordered restaurants in areas with the highest coronavirus outbreaks to close at 6 pm.

Troy Reading, who owns three restaurants in Minnesota, said only a curfew announcement, Made by the governor At the beginning of the month, put a damper on the number of customers who come to his restaurant at any time. “When the curfew was announced, sales plummeted,” he said. “It has become very realistic for them that going out and eating is not the safest thing to do.”

Even before the start of the Minnesota restaurant and bar curfew, a complete ban on indoor dining and drinking at those facilities, reflecting the struggle of leaders to catch up with the coronavirus runaway. It has been superseded.

Due to the curfew and closure, the restaurant resumed playbooks in the spring for outdoor dining and takeaway. Nevertheless, they will suffer financial damage. Benowitz said 140 out of 200 employees would have to be dismissed.

“We are always pivoting,” Benowitz said. “If you can’t change all at once in this environment, you can’t succeed.”

KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal contributed to this report.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. This is an editorial independent program. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation It is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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