Easy Precautions While Eating Out

May 27, 2020

As our communities continue to lift restrictions, Centura Health wants to share important guidance to ensure that you continue to protect your health as you visit public places. Together we’ve worked hard to get to this phase, let’s keep safety at the forefront to reduce a second wave.

“Before you head out, you may want to check your county’s and State’s current set of restrictions so that you can enjoy your time out while knowing what to expect from the businesses and locations you are visiting,” explains Dr. Stephen Cobb Incident Command Center for Centura Health. “For now, if you fall into a high-risk group, such as people over 65 or those with serious underlying medical conditions, the best way to prevent illness is to wait a bit longer and continue limiting close contact with others.” 

Before you make a reservation or take a seat, observe or research the restaurant’s stated safety practices. You should be looking for some key things:

  1. Are employees wearing face coverings?
  2. Are employees regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces?
  3. Are tables spaced apart to allow for distance between diners?
  4. Are employees practicing social distancing?

Ideally, restaurants will be taking reservations for convenience and social distancing. And, these establishments should avoid offering salad bars, buffets and drink-filling stations that require people to use common utensils or dispensers.

You and your fellow diners play a big part into a safe reopening, so it is important we all help by following some basic guidelines from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Stay home if you are sick - Avoid dining out if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • This will limit your exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Protect yourself when you do go out. Stay at least 6 feet away from others when you are waiting in a line.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering
  • Wash your hands before you eat - use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • You can also bring your own disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. Keep these items in your purse or vehicle for use.
    • Wipe buttons and handles before you touch them and use hand sanitizer after.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon arriving at home.

“Uncertainty about moving into this next phase can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions for higher risk populations,” explained Dr. Cobb. “Coping with stress by making some adjustment to how you approach dining out will make you, your loved ones and our communities stronger.”