Clearing the Air
Keeping our guests safe is a top priority! The challenge with indoor vs outdoor dining is that aerosols accumulate indoors, and if someone nearby has covid, you would be breathing it in. In the same way that smoke can be cleared, aerosols can also be minimized by opening windows and doors, having a high quality filter on an HVAC system, and with HEPA air purifiers.
To demonstrate this, we used a smoke machine at a table at Osteria Du. It was flicked on every 15 seconds (this video is sped up 10x). Without ventilation, the smoke builds up quickly. With the HEPA air purifiers and HVAC on, the smoke is continuously cleared.
There’s an acrylic wall separating the tables, with an air purifier on each side. Exhaled air is kept separate from adjacent tables. When the particles were measured at an adjacent table, there was only a trace amount – this is comparable to dining outdoors on a patio with some distance.
In addition to ventilation and air filtration, we minimize risk with:
1) Reduced capacity – Even though government regulations may allow full capacity, we prefer to continue with a comfortable amount of space for our guests.
2) All staff have at least 2 vaccine doses.
3) Masks – All staff wear masks at all times. Guests are required to wear masks when away from their table.
4) Ventilation – In addition to the HEPA air purifiers, the central HVAC system also continuously brings in fresh air, as well as filtering the air from inside the building.