TALLAHASSEE – Today, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association released a statement in response to the CDC Publication “Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥ 18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities.”
The study was not conducted in Florida and irresponsibly seeks to blame dining out with COVID-19 positive cases in other states while not attributing or disclosing other consumer behavior prior to testing positive.
Statement from Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
“The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association echoes the outrage of the National Restaurant Association in response to the irresponsible and misleading CDC study that blames COVID spread on a single industry. As the national association shared in their own statement, ‘The methodology used in the recent CDC article focused on the transmission of COVID-19 and restaurant visits contains numerous flaws, and the conclusions of the study are insufficient to guide consumer behavior. Across myriad industries, including gyms, restaurants, and retail, the conclusions reached by the researchers are not supported. Furthermore, the results calling out restaurants specifically are not supported by the data nor the methodology.’
This study singlehandedly focused on only one consumer behavior – patronizing local restaurants. What else did those individuals do during the two weeks prior to testing positive? Did they attend other locations such as grocery stores, retail, or other places where people gather? How can it specifically be blamed on one behavior? Restaurants across Florida have gone above and beyond to adapt to requirements and enhance sanitation and operating procedures to ensure the safety of their employees and guests. We FULLY support their safe operation and the continuation of mask wearing, social distancing, active managerial control, and good hand hygiene. The study was conducted in July during nationwide COVID peaks, and, although no participants in the study were in Florida, we feel compelled to speak out and admonish the CDC for this report that will unnecessarily cause anxiety and fear at a time when we are coming together as a state to safely move forward under the thoughtful and measured approach by Governor Ron DeSantis and DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears.”