Indoor restaurant dining was used as proxy time demarcation of a state’s re-opening status. If a state opened before May 22, 2020, they are categorized as “Re-open earlier” and the “Re-open later” states opened after May 22, 2020 or are not yet open to indoor dining.
Commentary for Figure 1 and 2
- For the re-open earlier states, after a few months of relatively low and flat daily positive rates, a rapid increase was observed in the month of June. This corresponded with both higher testing volumes and higher positivity rates. Given that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 14 days, and the time delay it may take to be hospitalized and/or seek medical care from onset of symptoms, it is plausible that the increase is due at least in part to reopening policies.
- For the re-open later states, after being part of the initial peak in daily positives, the daily positive rate declined from April through June, before experiencing an increase in July. The increase in these states came a month later and is far less drastic compared to the earlier re-open states.
- The trend difference may be due to the quicker re-opening of businesses in the re-open earlier states, but could also be impacted by greater compliance of social distancing and mask wearing in states that were hit hardest in the beginning of the pandemic. Many of these areas are represented in the re-open later states.