Bars are emerging as hot spots for the spread of the coronavirus. The combination of many people talking to each other in close proximity indoors provides an easy route for the virus to transmit from one person to another.
Just one example: A brewpub in East Lansing, Michigan, was linked to at least 107 coronavirus cases in late June. The people infected include 95 primary cases—people who went to the bar during the exposure period—and 12 secondary cases. Secondary cases are people who didn't go to the bar but came into contact with someone who did.
Avoid the 3 C'sIn a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a review of 61 clusters of COVID-19 cases in Japan found that 16% were linked to restaurants or bars. The researchers concluded that infections were riskiest in places that met the "three C's":
You could add a fourth "C" to that list—consumption of alcohol. Drinking alcohol can impair your judgement. That could lead to relaxing of social distancing behaviors.
Practice good judgment
According to CDC, the more closely and longer you interact with others, the higher the risk for the spread of the coronavirus. CDC suggests asking yourself these questions before going out:
For now, it may be best to avoid high-risk places like bars and nightclubs. If you do plan to gather with people outside your household, you may be better off staying outside and keeping the gathering small.
Check out more safety tips in the Coronavirus topic center.