“Supermarkets are relatively unlikely spots for coronavirus infection, data suggests”

The report makes several valuable points:

“In April, Hendrik Streeck, a virologist at the University of Bonn, determined that it was highly unlikely that shoppers would contract the virus when buying groceries. He told media at the beginning of last month that, through a survey of the disease’s spread in Germany, he found “no significant risk of catching the disease when you go shopping.”

“Severe outbreaks of the infection were always a result of people being closer together over a longer period of time,” he said, remarking that in the outbreaks he studied, “infection didn’t come from supermarkets or butchers or restaurants. It came from long periods together in closed spaces.”

“The United Food and Commercial Workers — the largest grocery union in the country — said in a press release last week that since the pandemic reached the United States “68 grocery workers have died and more than 10,000 have been infected or exposed.”

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated in 2017 around 3 million grocery workers employed in the United States. If those numbers have largely held steady, then the share of UFCW workers who have contracted the disease is at most one third of one percent of the entire U.S. grocery force, and the number who have died from it is around 0.002%.

Those numbers, which of course represent significant personal hardships and losses, suggest that the danger of contracting COVID-19 at grocery stores is low, even among those at greatest risk of infection.”

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