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Coronavirus

One thing you must do before you go out to eat during the pandemic

After a few long months of being stuck inside, it’s understandable that most of us are looking forward to getting back to at least a semblance of normalcy. Many states have started lifting restrictions over the past month, and businesses continue to reopen.

The sad reality is until there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 and there’s still a risk of exposure when you leave your home. That’s why it’s critical to continue with safety precautions like regularly washing your hands and wearing a face mask in public. Tap or click here for Kim’s best face mask recommendation.

Even though many restaurants are now allowing guests to dine in, not all of them are. And in some areas, restaurants are closing their doors once again due to confirmed COVID-19 cases. So, how do you know if your favorite restaurant is open? There are simple ways to find out.

Finally a Facebook feature worth using

When it comes to Facebook, we normally tell you to run away as fast as possible. That’s because the social media Goliath has a terrible track record when it comes to protecting your privacy and will sell you out without giving it a second thought.

One recent example of Facebook shenanigans is when the company was caught sharing private data with developers … again! Tap or click here for ways to block Facebook from taking your data.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about something Facebook can actually help you with: Finding out if your favorite restaurant is open for dinner, if you choose to venture back out there.

Nowadays pretty much every local business has its own Facebook page that many give real-time updates on. Unlike the company’s official website that might not get updated for months at a time, its social media pages most likely are updated weekly if not daily.

RELATED: 5 tips for returning to the office and keeping employees safe

That makes it super easy to find out if a restaurant, or another type of business, is open and allowing guests to dine in. Not only that, but many businesses have adjusted their hours of operation, which you should be able to find on their Facebook page as well.

More ways to get COVID updates

If you can’t find a specific restaurant on Facebook give other social media sites a try like Twitter and Nextdoor. But, be prepared for anything as you may see some bad news on social media. A popular sports grill chain in the Phoenix, Arizona area had an employee at one of the locations test positive for COVID-19 and a customer shared the bad news in a tweet.

As you can see in the above tweet, Zipps isn’t the only area restaurant that had employees test positive with the disease. Some social media posts even claim restaurants with employees who tested positive have decided to remain open. This type of information is critical for you to know before visiting a potential hot spot.

RELATED: Your smart watch can help you avoid coronavirus germs

Another good resource for current information is Yelp. If you’re not familiar with it, Yelp hosts crowd-sourced reviews of places like restaurants and other businesses. So, if you want to know what your neighbors think about a joint before visiting, you can get their reviews on service and quality on Yelp.

Now, Yelp is adding another really helpful feature for these troubling times. It just opened a new tool for business owners to keep customers informed on how they’re handling COVID-19.

Yelp’s new COVID-19 section went live this week and you can find it between the name of a business and its reviews. This tool lets businesses post what services they are offering, like dine in, takeout or delivery.

They can also post what safety measures they are following. For example, if they are requiring staff and/or customers to wear face masks or get temperature checks before entering. It’s all in the name of safety for employees and customers alike.

Yelp

This tool on Yelp is new, so you might not see this information for all businesses just yet. Plus, you might worry that information is outdated as coronavirus infections rise and businesses decide to close temporarily. Yelp has that covered too, as it will put a timestamp for each update so you know how fresh it is.

RELATED: How to wear and disinfect your face masks

Now that you’ve decided to venture out, make sure you get to your destination safely. Google Maps recently added COVID-19 travel restrictions so you know how to safely navigate where you’re headed. Tap or click here to find out how to use this helpful tool.

Remember, we’re all in this together and just because states are starting to reopen it doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. Little things like wearing a face mask while in public and regularly washing your hands will help all of us stay safe. Tap or click here for Kim’s pick for best hand sanitizer.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.

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