How Safe Is It To Visit Bars And Restaurants In Atlanta During Covid-19?
Between a highly contentious public battle over business closures and mask mandates and a new spike in cases, many residents find themselves lost in the middle, wondering if it’s truly safe to resume visiting restaurants in Atlanta despite Covid-19. Drip Hydration has gathered information to help you consider the risks.
What are the rules for dining in Atlanta right now?
A more in-depth breakdown of the rules for restaurants and bars can be accessed here, but to summarize:
- There are no capacity restrictions for restaurants at this time; bars and nightclubs are limited to 50 people or 35% total capacity
- Restaurants must be set up to allow physical distancing between both customers and staff at all times; outdoor dining and pick-up/home delivery of alcohol is temporarily allowed
- Restaurants must follow enhanced cleaning guidelines, ensuring surfaces are sanitized between parties
What about masks?
The highly publicized battle regarding mask mandates has left many confused about what the rules actually state. It is important to understand that the conflict has been largely between local municipalities and the state, so there are different authorities enforcing different rules. Here’s a general outline about what diners need to know:
- The State of Georgia requires employees of bars and restaurants who deal directly with customers to wear masks and social distance. Back of house staff are required to social distance, but not wear masks. Most bars and restaurants are enforcing masks for all employees anyway.
- The City of Atlanta requires masks and social distancing in public. However it is important to note that state law allows businesses to decide if they are going to enforce the rule or not, meaning that businesses may allow people to go maskless in their dining rooms.
- Health experts continue to recommend that people of 2 years of age or older wear masks when in public or when around people outside their household
What can I do to protect myself from Covid-19 if I visit a restaurant in Atlanta?
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established, Covid-19 is spread primarily through close personal contact as respiratory droplets from infected persons can land on and contaminate skin and surfaces through touch. It is also possible to contract Covid-19 through respiratory droplets that are airborne. Knowing this, how can diners protect themselves?
This CDC Guide recommends:
- Check ahead with the restaurant regarding their Covid-19 policies before arrival
- Wear a mask and social distance (Employees will be grateful!)
- Avoid self-serve options and touch screens when possible
- Bring hand sanitizer with you and sanitize/wash your hands frequently
If you want to support local businesses but don’t feel safe visiting them right now, consider some of these options to support restaurants in Atlanta during Covid-19.
What should I do if I have Covid-19 symptoms or learn I have been exposed?
If you’ve been exposed to someone with an active case of Covid-19 or are showing flu-like symptoms, you should isolate yourself unless your symptoms require emergency treatment, and arrange a test. Both the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health (GPH) have detailed guidance on what to do if you know you have been exposed or are showing symptoms of Covid-19.
Consult the links below for more information:
- CDC – What to do if you are sick
- GPH – Isolation Guidance
- GPH website
- Drip Hydration Guide on Available Testing Options in Atlanta
- Drip Hydration Guide Regarding Free Test through Emory University Study
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- GSU Researchers Find A Way To Suppress Covid-19 Transmission
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- At-Home COVID-19 Testing in Atlanta, GA
Let Drip Hydration Bring Covid-19 Testing To You
If you think you or anyone in your household has been exposed to Covid-19 after visiting restaurants in Atlanta, it can be stressful trying to weigh testing options with the risk of infecting others. Drip Hydration can help.
With as little as 24 hours notice, you can book an appointment online with ease to have one of our medical professionals visit your home and administer a Covid-19 test to your whole household (up to 5 people). Should your test show you have contracted Covid-19, our trained nurses can provide guidance on what you should do next. Take the stress out of stopping the spread, and contact Drip Hydration today!