Iowa doctor warns about potential COVID-19 spread at restaurants, other indoor spaces

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:40 AM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A doctor with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is warning Iowans about the potential spread of COVID-19 inside restaurants and other confined indoor spaces even when socially distanced.

Dr. Jorge Salinas talked about the risk of attending events at crowded spaces during a Facebook live stream with UIHC.

He said it’s a “common misconception” that people think it’s safe to eat or drink indoors as long as they’re socially distanced, but there have been documented outbreaks that came from these same circumstances.

He said the key to preventing outbreaks is proper ventilation.

“We all produce small particles or aerosols as we breathe, cough, talk etc. If we have a bunch of people breathing and talking, our aerosols get combined, and we’re breathing each other’s aerosols so at that point distance doesn’t matter. You’re gonna get exposed anyways.”

Dr. Salinas said widespread COVID-19 precautions are also helping to keep the number of reported flu cases in Iowa to a minimum.

He believes the state will have a mild flu season if Iowans do a good job of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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