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Did Shutting Down Outdoor Dining Contribute To California’s COVID-19 Surge? Disease Expert Believes So



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Late last week, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot — typically cautious on COVID-19 policy — raised some eyebrows after calling for restaurants and bars to reopen “as soon as possible.”

Her logic: The current COVID-19 surge has been primarily fueled by at-home gatherings and parties, and if people are going to gather regardless of what any stay-at-home order dictates, state and local governments should try to provide spaces where at least some mitigation efforts will be taken.

“If we have people and give them an outlet for entertainment in the restaurant space, in the bar space, we have much more of an opportunity, in my view, to be able to regulate and control that environment,” Lightfoot said. “People are engaging in risky behavior that is not only putting themselves at risk, but putting their families, their co-workers and other ones at risk. Let’s bring it out of the shadows.”

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