GEE AND URSULA

Virologist: Washington should consider closing restaurants, bars to keep schools open

Dec 2, 2020, 5:35 AM
schools, school, Reykdal...
Emily Valentine, a teacher at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 teaches students attending class in person on October 01, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

As Washington’s COVID outbreak continues to escalate, the state could soon be facing some tough choices regarding what to close. Georgetown University virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen, though, suggests that closing businesses like restaurants, bars, and gyms could be a viable trade-off for getting schools fully reopened.

Virologist says it’s not a given we’ll be ‘back to our normal lives’ by May

That’s a suggestion echoed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who told ABC on Sunday that closing bars and keeping schools open could be an effective path forward. Rasmussen points to success seen in an approach used in Germany, which recently enacted its own lockdown restrictions in late October, while opting to keep schools open.

Similar measures were also taken in France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

“Other countries have really done that pretty successfully,” she told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “I do think it is a good idea to close bars and restaurants and gyms and businesses like that for the sake of keeping schools open.”

When it comes to where COVID is transmitted most frequently, the difference between restaurants and schools appears to be sizable. A study from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control released in August found that children comprised under 5% of all COVID cases in 27 European Union countries, and that closing schools would be “unlikely to provide significant additional protection of children’s health.”

WA officials provide details on how COVID vaccine will be handed out

Recent data released by Public Health — Seattle & King County came to the opposite conclusion for dining, concluding that restaurants accounted for “the second highest number of non-healthcare-facility outbreaks since the pandemic began,” comprising 15% of cases over a 60-day period reported by those who responded to contact tracers.

Those findings aren’t much of a surprise to Rasmussen, given the significant risk of exposure posed by indoor dining.

“Hearing that data does not surprise me in the least,” she said. “Indoor restaurants have multiple risk factors for transmission, so it does make sense to me from a virology perspective why those would be hotbeds for COVID transmission.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

vaccine, kids...
Gee and Ursula Show

Virologist: ‘Time interval’ between doses will be important in vaccinations for kids

Dr. Rasmussen explains why, in her opinion, there should be enough clinical data to support emergency authorization of a vaccine for kids ages 5-11.
1 day ago
Sara Nelson...
Gee and Ursula Show

Seattle council candidate Sara Nelson outlines plan for homelessness, policing

Seattle City Council Position 9 candidate Sara Nelson calls for added encampment sweeps and police accountability over defunding.
4 days ago
masking...
Gee and Ursula Show

Superintendent: More ‘issues with adults’ over masking rule than students

The state Superintendent says things are going "pretty darn well" as schools reopened. He credits that success to COVID rules, which include masking.
6 days ago
Vaccine mandate...
Gee and Ursula Show

With Washington’s vaccine mandate deadline imminent, a minority chooses resignation

KIRO Radio speaks with the minority coalition which has decided to take a stand against the vaccine mandate and accept termination or resignation.
7 days ago
students, vaccine...
Gee and Ursula Show

State Superintendent says any future vaccine mandate for students will be ‘statewide’

The state Superintendent of Public Instruction says there won't be a vaccine mandate for students until there's full federal approval of a vaccine for kids.
8 days ago
Seattle City Attorney abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, candidate...
Gee and Ursula Show

‘I didn’t think anybody took me that seriously,’ Seattle candidate says about anti-police tweets

Seattle city attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy tells Gee and Ursula how she would run the office and responds to tweets she posted in 2020.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Virologist: Washington should consider closing restaurants, bars to keep schools open