Virus positivity rate a good indicator of movie theater safety, experts say

Aug 26, 2020, 5:13 PM
(Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)...
(Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
(Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

PHOENIX — As movie theaters across Arizona’s largest metro areas prepare for reopening, health experts believe a region’s coronavirus positivity rate is a big factor in how safe it is to catch a flick.

Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist with South Shore Health, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday that a lower positivity rate would alleviate some of her concerns.

“If the numbers are really looking good, I’d feel a little bit more comfortable going out provided all the necessary protocols are in place,” Wildes said.

Dr. Cara Christ, the state’s public health director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday she believes Arizona has strong protocols for ensuring safety at move theaters.

Theaters that reopen in counties that meet the required benchmarks will be limited to 50% capacity in both the moderate and minimal ranges.

They also must follow the state-mandated requirements and restrictions on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, enhanced cleaning, ventilation, symptom screening, physical distancing, masks and concession areas and child care policies.

The state’s largest chain, Harkins Theaters, has announced plans to open all Arizona theaters Friday.

Alamo Drafthouse, which has three metro Phoenix locations, also announced its intentions to reopen theaters Sept. 3.

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Virus positivity rate a good indicator of movie theater safety, experts say