Should restaurants be avoided during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) says it’s OK to dine out. And, Fresno County’s top public health official agrees.
Both said so with the caveat that dining out should be done in good health. Dr. Rais Vohra, the county’s interim health officer, added that frequent hand washing and social distancing are necessary as well.
Nunes: Eat Out, Don’t Hoard
Nunes appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” talking about the coronavirus.
“If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easily. Let’s not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going,” Nunes said.
Nunes said there were no shortages of food and toilet paper, thus hoarding wasn’t necessary.
However, many Fresno area stores were out of — or running low on — toilet paper, water, pasta, meat, and canned goods this weekend.
County Top Doc: Dining Out OK
Asked for his advice on dining out and shopping, Vohra said it’s OK as long as precautions are made.
“We absolutely are sensitive to the fact that people still need to go out and do their grocery shopping and live their lives. But obviously, we want to keep people safe by minimizing the number of germs of COVID-19,” Vohra said.
Vohra said not to touch your face or eat with dirty hands.
And of course, stay home if you are feeling sick.
Fresno County announced a state of emergency on Saturday night after the second case of COVID-19 in the county emerged. The declaration does not prevent businesses from remaining open.
Top Federal Health Official Avoiding Restaurants
A top federal health official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” he would avoid restaurants.
“You don’t want to make a pronouncement that no one should ever go into a restaurant,” Fauci said. “I mean, I think that might be overkill right now, but everything is on the table.”
Fauci added he would not personally go into a restaurant and risk catching COVID-19.
Nunes Opponent Critical
Phil Arballo, a Democrat running against Nunes for Congress, blasted Nunes in a news release and on Twitter.
“At a time when we are facing the most serious public health crisis of our lifetimes, Devin Nunes is choosing to place ignorance and politics over the health and safety of our community,” Arballo said. “It comes as no surprise that Congressman Nunes is putting politics first, but his reckless rhetoric will cause more people to get sick and could cause more people in the Central Valley to die.”