Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Environmental Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in Two Restaurants from a Mid-scale City that Followed U.S. CDC Reopening Guidance.

Authors: Li, Hongwan; Shankar, Sripriya Nannu; Witanachchi, Chiran T; Lednicky, John A; Loeb, Julia C; Alam, Md Mahbubul; Fan, Z Hugh; Mohamed, Karim; Boyette, Jessica A; Eiguren-Fernandez, Arantzazu; Wu, Chang-Yu

Published In Aerosol Air Qual Res, (2022 Jan)

Abstract: Since mask use and physical distancing are difficult to maintain when people dine indoors, restaurants are perceived as high risk for acquiring COVID-19. The air and environmental surfaces in two restaurants in a mid-scale city located in north central Florida that followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reopening guidance were sampled three times from July 2020 to February 2021. Sixteen air samples were collected for 2 hours using air samplers, and 20 surface samples by using moistened swabs. The samples were analyzed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA. A total of ~550 patrons dined in the restaurants during our samplings. SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA was not detected in any of the air samples. One of the 20 surface samples (5%) was positive. That sample had been collected from a plastic tablecloth immediately after guests left the restaurant. Virus was not isolated in cell cultures inoculated with aliquots of the RT-PCR-positive sample. The likelihood that patrons and staff acquire SARS-CoV-2 infections may be low in restaurants in a mid-scale city that adopt CDC restaurant reopening guidelines, such as operation at 50% capacity so that tables can be spaced at least 6 feet apart, establishment of adequate mechanical ventilation, use of a face covering except while eating or drinking, and implementation of disinfection measures.

PubMed ID: 35024044 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

to Top