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Updated September 14th, 2021 at 17:07 IST

COVID-19: US restaurants close dining rooms as delta-driven infections spread

Sales for the businesses in United States that had picked up during the summers as COVID-19 cases declined, slumped drastically due to Delta variant.

Reported by: Zaini Majeed
Edited by: Zaini Majeed
United States
IMAGE: Unsplash/Pixabay/Representative Image | Image:self
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As the trajectory of the novel COVID-19 infections in the US up-ticked driven by the hypervirulent Delta variant, eateries, dine-ins and food joints such as McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A Inc. announced that they were keeping the outlets shuttered amid the new surge. Many restaurants were losing out on the customer turnout, while others attempted to squeeze the seatings on the outdoor patios as they had either shrunk the capacity, closed the indoor areas, or limited hours of operation, US broadcasters reported, citing the franchisees’ statements.

The US is witnessing the ‘resurgence’ of the pandemic with the variant wave, and the businesses are once again suffering a hit despite closure for more than a year due to pandemic-related disruptions.

In the past 5 weeks, the sales for the businesses that had picked up during the summers as COVID-19 cases declined, slumped drastically as per the data from restaurant analytics firm Black Box Intelligence. At least 41,500 workers in bars and restaurants were rendered unemployed in the month of August, according to Labor Department figures, noticeably the largest monthly decline of any sector. Food businesses reeled under the impacts of the emerging COVID-19 peak, especially in Texas and Florida. 

CDC recommends drive-through, curb side pickups as new COVID wave unleashes

CDC emphasized the considerations in new guidelines on websites for ways in which food business operators could reduce COVID-19 risk for employees, customers, and communities, and stop the spread. It recommended that previously crowded food joints must now limit themselves to the drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curbside pick-ups, stressing that the respiratory ailment would spread when people are physically within 6 feet from each other. The guidance was issued as the US recorded COVID-19 cases more than five times the average number of daily infections one month ago. 

As per a report carried by Washington Post, in states where vaccination rates were below 40 per cent, the hospitalization rates were four times higher than states with at least 54 per cent inoculations. California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont — recorded “breakthrough infections”. A physician and scientist for Scripps Research, US, Eric Topol, estimated that the COVID-19 vaccination’s efficacy in combatting the symptomatic transmission of the delta variant among fully vaccinated people was about 60 per cent in the United States. 

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Published September 14th, 2021 at 17:06 IST

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