Posted: Dec 04, 2020
You’ve probably seen the arctic resorts in Finland and Norway advertising their all-glass igloo hotels that allow for glimpses of the illusive Northern Lights. Thanks to COVID-19, Charlotte now has some igloos of its own … with glimpses of the Queen City’s lights. Almost the same, right?
These creative concepts have been popping up at restaurants around the country in response to the collision of winter and COVID-19. Hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants have had to get creative with ways to safely serve guests. So where can you find them in Charlotte, are they safe and why are some restaurant owners opting not to use them? We’ve got answers.
Are they safe?
Dining igloos provide protection from the wind and elements and unlike indoor spaces, can allow for individual groups to be isolated from other patrons.
“It keeps the group that you’re potentially exposed to while dining out much smaller,” said Paul Sax, clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “From just a mathematical basis, it’s safer than dining in a restaurant, where you have, potentially, exposure to multiple other people.”
That being said, the key to safe bubble dining comes down to proper sanitation, ventilation and restricting use to one table of individuals in the same family or pandemic pod.
Sanitation between use is critical to ensure that air droplets do not linger on surfaces as the next guests arrive. All surfaces must be cleaned using EPA-registered disinfectants between groups. Since ventilation within igloos is limited (even domes with windows don’t provide enough air flow to significantly reduce risk), they should be opened and aired out for at least 15 minutes after use. This allows lingering aerosol droplets and particles, as well as chemical vapors to dissipate.
By Laurie Larsh
December 03 2020
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