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Eater PDX Poll: Only 14 Percent of Readers Feel Safe Dining Indoors at Restaurants Right Now

In an Eater Portland poll, 48 percent of respondents said they didn’t feel comfortable dining at a restaurant, indoors or outdoors

Indoor Dining
Diners inside a restaurant
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Bad news for restaurant owners as winter approaches: In a recent Eater Portland poll, only 14 percent of respondents said they feel comfortable dining indoors at a restaurant.

Last week, we asked readers if they feel comfortable dining at restaurants at this stage of the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 1,461 readers who responded, 39 percent said they were only comfortable ordering takeout or delivery, while 38 percent said they felt comfortable dining outside at a restaurant — just not inside. Nine percent said they were exclusively dining at home.

There have been almost 30,000 COVID-19 cases reported in Oregon, though the number of new cases reported daily has been trending downward for months. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults with the novel coronavirus are twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than those with negative test results.

With the unhealthy and even hazardous air quality impacting restaurant owners’ ability to serve on patios, many restaurant, cafe, and bar owners have seen a drop in sales. That could be a bad sign for the months to come: Once Portland enters the rainy season, Portlanders originally comfortable with outdoor dining may return to their takeout and delivery habits. That means another drop in sales, made worse by the ban on to-go cocktail sales from restaurants and bars, or the added expense of creating year-round outdoor dining spaces. See the full results of the poll here.

Oregon COVID-19 Case and Testing Counts Statewide [OHA]
Portland: Do You Feel Safe Dining Out Right Now? [EPDX]
Is It Safe to Eat at Restaurants Yet? [E]
Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities [CDC]
Between the Pandemic and the Air Quality, Portland Restaurant Owners Are Trying to Hold On [EPDX]
Oregon’s Fight for To-Go Cocktails, Explained [EPDX]