How to Assess Risk of Indoor Spaces like Bars and Restaurants


We applaud the many ways our local business community has adapted to the virus – and many locations are doing everything right.

What to seek in a safer venue:

  • Mask wearing – When people aren’t actively eating or drinking, are they wearing masks? Are people’s masks covering their nose and mouth? Better mask wearing means less risk.
  • Distance – are people keeping distance from each other, and putting their mask on when they need to be in close proximity? How crowded is the space overall? More space means lower risk.
  • Time – how long will you be in the space? Less time spend means lower risk.
  • Airflow – this can be difficult to discern without knowledge of the HVAC and filtration systems. Some visible things you can notice include open doors or windows, a large room, high ceilings, and/or a visible and working air purifier. Better airflow means less risk.
  • Vaccinated people – you will have less risk being vaccinated yourself and being around vaccinated employees and guests, if there’s a way to discern that information. With most bars and restaurants, you won’t know vaccine status of the crowd.

When choosing activities, you can still opt for the safest options available.

  • Outdoor venues or indoor spaces enforcing reduced capacity are preferred to crowded, indoor places.
  • Small and spaced out meetups are preferred to big groups.
  • Keep wearing your mask, and if you’re in a space where people aren’t masking appropriately, especially indoors – leave when you are able.
  • Get vaccinated when you can. Remember it takes 2 weeks after your final vaccine dose to be “fully vaccinated.” Walk-ins and appointments for the Moderna vaccine are being offered today (Monday, 4/19) and Thursday from 9am – 5pm at the Carolin Union.

Adapted from Dear Pandemic Indoor Drinks and Ventilation

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