Households, not eating places, drive COVID surge


The largest group of coronavirus cases in the past week were in households, not restaurants or food courts, according to state health officials.

The weekly city-to-city and city-to-city report lists households as a source for 25,760 COVID-19 cases. The same report – on page 35 – states that restaurants were the source of 140 cases.

Weekly report from city to city

“Government restrictions make household carryover cases worse,” said Doug Bacon, who owns eight Boston restaurants and bars.

He said restaurant owners know the exercise and can keep people safe. Nobody can control what goes on behind closed doors in houses. As the Herald reported on Tuesday, state health regulations must end alcohol and catering services at 9:30 a.m. every night and close doors in restaurants and bars by 10:00 p.m. Tables must also be 6 feet apart.

The Herald has learned that some community leaders are concerned that when the bars open, people will go to someone’s home to gather – where masks will appear optional.

If the state’s COVID-19 count continues to rise – with Massachusetts breaking daily records in a row – Boston and the state could restrict restaurants even further. That, says Bacon, could kill even more companies.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association reports that the industry once represented 10% of employment in the state, with nearly 350,000 jobs tied to bars and restaurants. Add nearly $ 1.2 million in meal taxes collected and the once thriving sector made a healthy contribution to the economy.

Now, says Bacon, it’s about life support.