Black Light Experiment Shows How Coronavirus Could Spread at a Restaurant

An experiment revealed how the coronavirus could spread quickly from one person to a group of people eating at a buffet.

NHK, a Japanese news organization, filmed the experiment alongside public health officials, reported Today.

In the experiment, officials used fluorescent paint and black paint to show others how the virus can quickly spread from one person to nine people in just minutes at a buffet.

The video that was posted to Twitter was seen more than 13 million times. In the clip, a person applies the paint to his hands to mark the virus as if he had sneezed or coughed into his hands.

He is then joined by nine other "uninfected" people who all serve themselves at the buffet and eat for 30 minutes.

At the end, the black-light shows that the paint is now on the hands of everyone. Three people are seen with paint on their faces after touching the food, drink containers, and the tongs people use to put food on their plates.

Dr. John Torres, an NBC medical correspondent, said this video shows people how easily a person can spread germs to another person by "contact alone." He added that this is why experts have been stressing not to touch your face until you have washed your hands for 20 seconds.

"And if someone before you touched an object and then you do, be careful," Torres said.

As restaurants begin reopening, new restrictive policies will likely be implemented that may change the food industry dramatically.

One of the major changes is doing away with the buffet-style setup and eliminating “high touch” points such as shared tongs, utensils, and dispensers, per the Federal Drug Administration's COVID-19 best practices guidelines.

The new measures being adopted by restaurants include having waitstaff plate buffet meals rather than offering a self-serve option, markers placed in the guest line to promote proper social distancing, and the option of table-side delivery.

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