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GLENVIEW, IL - OCTOBER 4: A server delivers food to customers at a Corner Bakery Cafe October 4, 2005 in Glenview, Illinois. Dallas-based Brinker International has agreed to sell their Corner Bakery Cafe restaurants to CBC Restaurant Corp. There are 92 Corner Bakery Cafes in eight states and Washington, DC. Other Brinker restaurants include Chili's Grill & Bar, Maggiano's Little Italy, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Romano's Macaroni Grill. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

North Carolina is still in phase 2 of reopening, which means restaurants are still open to having customers, as long as they are at 50% capacity. Restaurants have been one of the only places I have gone out for in phase 2, but with cases continuing to rise in North Carolina, it begs the question; are they really safe?

Here are some tips from experts when it comes to staying healthy and safe while eating out during this time

  • Eat outside!

    • Air conditioning and circulation are not great for this virus. Eat outside whenever possible because it is MUCH safer.
  • Wear a mask while you’re not eating

    • This one is now a mandate in NC, but goes without saying… your mask is your new best friend, whether you love it or not.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.

  • Eating out with big groups is riskier.

    • It’s not necessarily the size of the group, but where they have been. Try to assess the exposure of the group before dining with them.
  • Avoid touching your face.

    • Because you can’t control a lot of factors, like whether the bottle/utensils are disinfected, make sure you are not touching your face often to avoid contracting the virus.

Stay safe!