BOSTON (CBS) – A new model published in Nature finds that certain popular hangouts accounted for most COVID-19 infections in the first wave of the pandemic. Restaurants were among those superspreader spots, the study found.
Using mobile phone data, scientists at Stanford and Northwestern tracked the movements of almost 100 million people in 10 of the largest US cities for two months starting in March and compared that to the number of infections in those areas.
They found that full-service restaurants led to the largest increase in infections followed by gyms, cafes, hotels, and places of worship.
They also predicted that reducing capacity at these venues can significantly reduce transmission.
However, public health experts say given where we are now, in November, the biggest concern is small gatherings in people’s homes rather than public spaces.