Bay Area restaurants allowed to have take-out/drive thru, BUT

Since the testing protocol is only for those with symptoms (supplies of tests are still tight) does it make much sense for the staff to prepare food for customers? Seems to me there could be any number of restaurant staff with asymptomatic COVID19. I’m surprised with all of the other restrictions instituted last night, that officials think it’s OK for untested individuals to prepare food.

Let’s take this a step further. Anyone who tested negative, could always become infected a short time later, so no amount of testing (IMO) of restaurant staff is going to make them “safe”. I don’t know if the public thinks as I do and will avoid restaurant take-out and drive-thru food, despite the allowing of this practice to continue.

They are not trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is out there and it will spread, likely eventually to a large portion of the population. The restrictions put in place are just to slow its spread to (hopefully) within what the healthcare system can manage.

Things like take-out are tricky. Some people need to eat, and some people don’t or can’t cook. I don’t eat out, but if I did, I agree with you and wouldn’t be getting take-out at this time.

Technically, you could say the same of any staff working in a grocery store or any customers who shop there. Did the customer who picked up produce before you have the virus? Does the person having their groceries checked out before you have the virus? Does the person restocking the shelves have the virus? At least produce can be washed and grocery items can be wiped down, if you’re worried.


I agree with what u said. I’m just surprised that authorities haven’t told the public of any new rules for food prep workers, to assure those who need to do take out and drive thru, that the humans in the restaurants can’t transmit the virus to the prepared foods. I KNOW it’s not foolproof to institute new rules but usually officials like to do “feel-good” rules to assure the public. If I’m not comfortable sitting down to eat, I’m not going to be comfortable doing take-out. It’s only a matter of degree of exposure, between dining in and eating prepared food that I can’t see how it was prepared.

Think “Kitchen Nightmares”. People wiping their noses, sweating over a stove…yuck. LOL!

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Restaurants should be following food safety guidelines regardless, though. If they’re following food safety guidelines, that should reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus or any other virus. I think the no seating is so that the restaurant isn’t packed with dozens or hundreds of people, not so much concerns around the coronavirus being foodborne.

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I can’t remember which pol or in what state, but at least one of them said to reduce occupancy by half (obviously not the Bay Area), from the fire-code occupancy numbers. To spread out the patrons. Sounds like a half-measure, IMO.

Harvard Med School advises against take-out.

We won’t be getting takeout. We’re sanitizing delivered groceries- to the degree possible.

In a few weeks, we’ll probably be doing things differently. I’d like to make it past the initial wave of overwhelmed hospitals without getting sick.

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If you can get delivered groceries. One of the major chains in my area stopped their delivery service. The other chain still delivers, but orders placed today won’t deliver until next Tuesday. The earlier delivery slots are already booked.

I’m using an app called Instacart. They deliver Wegmans and Harris Teeter to my area, among other stores.

Not sure if they operate in your area, but if not, another app might?

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Good idea! Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

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@Dave44: Boston initially had advised restaurants reduce their capacity by half, but last Saturday, so many “kids” went out to bars for an early St. Patrick’s Day bachanalia, ignoring the warnings, that on Sunday the Governor shut down all restaurants and bars in Massachusetss except for delivery and take-out.

I live in the Bay Area, am 70, and DID get a takeout meal today. Given the pitifully low level of testing in this country, we are all flying blind.

I selected a restaurant that I trust for cleanliness under normal circumstances, I know that they have upped procedures due to COVID-19, I called in the order, was the only person picking up because I did not call in at prime time … so I dealt with one person for a very brief period at a range of about 6 feet. Plus, I got to help a small business that is in danger of really getting hammered economically. I’d be willing to bet that virtually every TP hoarder had significantly more exposure than I while amassing their stockpile.

I’m certainly trying to flatten the curve, trying to protect myself, trying to protect others … but virtually everyone performing essential functions are encountering many more people during their day than I so will the curve be statistically flatter if I encounter 0 vs 1 person in a day at a 6 ft range?

Stay safe … but sane … out there. I don’t know that any of us knows what we’ll be facing in the coming days.


Check out the post I just put up which discusses “flattening the curve”. It’s written by someone who has a better functioning brain than me, a lot more pertinent education than me, but has some of the same thoughts about the quarantine that I have shared on the forum, but is obviously unpopular, to say the least.