Restaurants, gyms and hotels have the highest risk of COVID-19, study finds

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Reopening restaurants poses the greatest risk of the spread of COVID-19, according to a recent study that tracked nearly 100 million Americans through their cell phones.Researchers at Stanford University and Northwestern University used anonymity phone data to map the movements of people in 10 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States as they left their own neighborhoods for more than 500,000 different destinations, including restaurants and places of worship, from March 1 to May 2. They then overlaid the data on a model of how the virus spreads to determine the infection patterns.

“If you think of restaurants, people stay there for a long time, and a lot of them are small places where people are crowded,” said Jure Leskovec, lead author of the study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature. “The population density there is quite high compared to the grocery stores and department stores which are larger places and which are not nearly as crowded as the restaurants. “

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