Will Highly Contagious COVID Strains Doom Movie Theaters’ Reopening Plans?

Jeremy Fuster
·1-min read

The pandemic has thrown another curveball to the beleaguered movie theater industry: Newly discovered highly contagious variants could further delay the widespread reopening of theaters. The variants are natural mutations that have developed over the past year of the pandemic, and the one that has epidemiologists most concerned is called B117, a more easily transmissible variant first discovered in Great Britain and now found in at least 20 U.S. states. In an interview on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that preliminary evidence from British scientists suggests — but does not yet prove — that B117 may also be a deadlier version of the virus. If the spread of B117 outpaces efforts to make the populace immune to COVID-19, movie theaters will be among the businesses that will take the hardest hit. A faster-spreading virus could keep hospitals and ICU beds full even as the number of people that are vulnerable to the virus gets smaller through vaccination. The longer it takes for hospital strain to ease, the longer theaters will have to wait to reopen as they are expected to be among the last allowed to do so by health officials. Also Read: 'No...

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