Thursday, November 26, 2020

Restaurants Scramble Amid Cold, COVID Surge

Follow Us on Social Media

         Controlling the indoor environment        

As far as indoor dining, there are many environmental controls available that could reduce risk of transmission, said Oscar Alleyne, chief of programs and services for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Restaurants can increase the rate of ventilation in their buildings and install high-quality air filters that can filter viruses out of HVAC-circulated air, Alleyne said.

They also can invest in supplemental portable air cleaners with HEPA filters, cut down on occupancy, increase space between tables and strictly enforce social distancing, he said.

“If there’s an intense approach on addressing environmental controls, that in and of itself would make things safer,” Alleyne said.

Stepped-up environmental controls also won’t break the bank, Allen added.

“Upgrading the filters costs a couple extra dollars. A good portable cleaner with a HEPA filter could be a couple hundred dollars,” Allen said. “I’m not talking about million-dollar fixes.”

However, reducing the restaurant’s level of occupancy to acceptable levels will severely challenge its profitability, Allen said.

“If you got to the level of de-densification that would be necessary to lower risk, I don’t know if that is economically viable for a restaurant,” Allen said.

Restaurants have been making financial changes to deal with lower capacity, Lynch said. They’ve tightened their menus to reduce food waste, and have held off bringing back staff laid off during the first lockdown.

The industry continues to look for new ways to make indoor dining safer, Lynch said.

For example, the National Restaurant Association is working with a leading HVAC association about ways to further improve ventilation and air filtration in buildings, Lynch said. One idea being explored is retrofitting virus-killing UV light filters into a building’s existing HVAC system, so that air is further sanitized as it is circulated.

But even if all of these measures are successfully undertaken, the human element remains a significant impediment to safety, Allen said.

“The risk levels are many in a restaurant,” Allen said. “It’s not just that people aren’t wearing masks at their tables. It’s volume and loud talking, which increases emission rates. It’s alcohol consumption, which lowers inhibition. It’s mixing of multiple groups at tables, if you go out with friends you’re not normally quarantined with.



Source link

Latest news

Nivar now a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ after making landfall

The severe cyclonic storm Nivar now lay centered over north coastal Tamil Nadu, about 50 km northnorthwest of Puducherry. Nivar remains a severe cyclonic...
All countries
17,748,008
Total Active Covid19 Cases
Updated on November 26, 2020 4:02 am

Spaceflight does some weird things to astronauts’ bodies

“The Twins Study gave us a first sketch of the human body’s molecular responses to spaceflight, but these outlines needed to be filled...

Infectious diseases’ drug research back on the radar of Big Pharma, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Mumbai: Last year, when former US FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb joined a venture capital firm that invests in drug discovery, he was asked what...

COVID-19 infections are soaring. Lockdowns could be coming. A list of restrictions in your state.

As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise nationwide, some states are halting phased reopening plans or imposing new coronavirus-related restrictions.Several are putting...

Related news

Infectious diseases’ drug research back on the radar of Big Pharma, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Mumbai: Last year, when former US FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb joined a venture capital firm that invests in drug discovery, he was asked what...

Is It Safe to Fly During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

“Each of these segments involves unique activities, such as storing and retrieving luggage, using seat trays while eating, using entertainment systems, standing in the...

Depression Management Hints and Tips

If you’re struggling with depression, tune in for a great discussion — from two people who have been there and understand what you’re going...

The sequence of hormonal therapy and radiation affects outcomes in men treated for prostate cancer – Harvard Health Blog

A common treatment for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer is to combine radiation with drugs that block testosterone — a hormone that makes the...