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These 5 States Desperate to Dine Out Are Seeing Major Repercussions

Maybe dining out in these states isn’t such a good idea yet...

Are you ready for life to go back to normal, where you can go to a restaurant or a grocery store without worrying about taking extra precautions to decrease any risk of getting COVID-19? You're not the only one feeling this way. As the country starts to slowly open back up phase-by-phase, people's habits of staying in and cooking have drastically changed. Instead, there's a higher interest in going out to eat. Yet some states desperate to get out the door and start dining out are seeing major repercussions because of it. 

These five states are ready to dine out

According to Google search data collected by Chef's Pencil, it seems searches for "restaurants near me" have seriously spiked over the past few weeks. Instead of searching for recipes to cook at home, people are searching for places they can go to eat. And there are five states in particular that are adamantly searching for places to dine out.

Using an interest scale from 1 (the lowest) to 100 (the highest), the top five states searching for places to dine out are South Carolina (100), Florida (85), Georgia (85), Tennessee (83), and North Carolina (80). For most of these states, the searches for "restaurants near me" in the past month even surpassed averages for this search term in previous months, meaning people are searching for places to dine out even more than they were pre-pandemic.

Despite desires to dine out, these states are in trouble.

While it's exciting that these states are looking to support restaurants around them and put money back into the local economy, their desire to dine out is happening a bit too soon. If you look at this list of states, they are also some of the states experiencing major spikes in COVID-19 in the past few weeks. While there are 14 states experiencing a shocking spike of coronavirus cases this month, these five states, in particular, are seeing it severely. Florida alone reported 9,000 new cases on Friday, June 26, and continues to hit record high numbers that even surpass New York City, which was originally a hot spot for coronavirus earlier in the year.

Now if you find yourself in one of these states and still want to eat some of those meals you are craving from your favorite restaurants, you can still support local by ordering curbside takeout. The CDC says it's the safest way to eat from your local eateries according to their guidelines, followed closely by dining outside. But if you're in one of the states with spiking cases of coronavirus, it would be best to continue dining at home on some yummy takeout to decrease the risk fo spreading COVID-19.

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Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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