Interview Update on Connecticut Restaurants: Are they safe? YES! Please support our hospitality industry and look at the facts. Executive Director Scott Dolch of the Connecticut Restaurant Association explains...
A message from Scott Dolch, Executive Director, CRA
As Connecticut continues to work through the pandemic, and has seen an uptick of spread in recent weeks, I'd like to provide you with some important context that may be helpful in your reporting regarding COVID in relation to local restaurants.
While the State of Connecticut has opted to publicly release sporadic and very limited data relating to cluster tracing, other states in our region have published more robust and consistent data. What these larger, thorough reports continue to show is that the vast majority of COVID spread is taking place in homes and social gatherings, not restaurants.
- For instance, in Massachusetts' latest published figured from 2/28-3/27, they reviewed a total of 21,594 COVID cases. In that group, they found that 125 were related to restaurants & food courts,representing 0.5% of cases. In the same period, they identified 18,901 COVID clusters, and found that 38 were related to restaurant & food courts,representing just 0.2% of cases. That data can be seen here:https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-april-1-2021/download[ALSO OF NOTE – MASSACHUSETTS REMOVED THEIR CAPACITY LIMITATIONS ON RESTAURANTS BEGINNING MARCH 1, 2021]
- Those numbers are very similar to past samples in Massachusetts. Their December 2020 report identified 35,269 active clusters with just 75 connected to restaurants and food courts,which again is less than half a percent. Meanwhile 33,714 were connected to spread in homes --more than 95 percent.https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-december-31-2020/download.
- In New York, data during the winter showed that restaurants and bars accounted for 1.4 percent of cases from September through November: https://ny.eater.com/2020/12/11/22169841/restaurants-and-bars-coronavirus-spread-data-new-york
As you report on the spread of COVID, I understand that your coverage will include the analysis of epidemiologists or other scientists. However, I ask that you please make clear to your readers the difference between those experts' opinions and speculations about what could be contributing to spread, and include numbers like those above which, again, are from nearby state governments and contain actual data, not assumptions.
Connecticut restaurants have and will continue to be leaders in safety and sanitation. I am available to answer any questions you may have on this front. Thank you as always.
Scott Dolch| Executive Director
Connecticut Restaurant Association