New federal research co-authored by doctors at Hennepin Healthcare offers new concerns about COVID-19 exposure risks among those out at bars, as well as at cafes or restaurants.

Surveying 314 people who sought outpatient treatment for respiratory symptoms, the researchers found those who tested positive for COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to have been places in the prior two weeks where food and drinks were served compared with those whose symptoms weren’t related to the pandemic.

The two groups were similar in rates of shopping, attending churches and going to gyms, suggesting an independent risk for people who inevitably had to take off masks while eating and drinking at establishments, said Dr. Heidi Erickson, a co-author of the study and a pulmonary and

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