New York City will reopen restaurants in 25% capacity restaurants Wednesday, but many remain safety concerns. Covid-19 cases in New York have risen again, and the colder weather season is also expected to lead to coronavirus spikes. According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, can handle restaurants with safety concerns, but it will depend on individual restaurant decisions and attitudes.
“The risks associated with indoor restaurants depend on how many people are in a room and an area,” Gottlieb told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday morning. “Some are safer than others,” Gottlieb said, adding that air filter systems and airflow vary and the risk of aerosol spread is different Covid-19 Cannot be ignored.
“We can get something that approximates an aerosol spread and super-spreader event, so it’s really going to vary from restaurant to restaurant,” said the former FDA commissioner.
Gottlieb said he felt it was more important to focus on reopening facilities like schools than reopening restaurants because the risks are high and there are economic benefits but fewer social benefits. “I would focus on schools that are solely about entertainment without facing the rigors of restaurant owners,” he said.
Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group is one of the New York City-based companies reopening indoor 25% capacity restaurants on Wednesday. Many diners are concerned about the health risks they will take, but Meyer is also focused on keeping restaurant workers safe.
Union Square Hospital Group has partnered with biometric screening company CLEAR to monitor the health of employees in its restaurants.
CLEAR, developed after September 11th to improve airport security, created an app called Health Pass that Meyer’s company will use as part of daily security checks for all employees. The CLEAR app first verifies identity by uploading an identifying document and asking a user to take a selfie. Before entering the restaurant, employees open the Health Pass, verify their identity with a selfie, and then answer a series of questions about the health survey. A CLEAR kiosk in the restaurant offers a temperature check and scans the employee’s QR code to collect health information and confirm that the person can enter safely. However, it does not access a person’s private health information. The National Hockey League used the same technology in their recent Stanley Cup playoffs in Toronto and Edmonton.
Meyer, whose company had to Thousands of workers laid off At the start of the coronavirus, when restaurants closed, said the transition from eating on the sidewalk – which three of its restaurants have been doing for many weeks – a phase of Covid reopening: “We were concerned about this, but also very excited.”
“We want to do it in the safest possible way … to make sure employees can get back to work safely,” Meyer told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” about the reopening plan and the CLEAR deal.
“It helps make sure employees know we’re vigilant every day,” Meyer said.
Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of CLEAR, said the current situation in Covid is a composite version of what to expect from airports closings after September 11th. Now the airports have stayed open, but everything else has been closed and the relevance of identity and identity-based solutions to health surveillance is much greater.
The CLEAR deal is one aspect of a more comprehensive Covid-19 safety plan Union Square Hospitality Group hopes to allay guests’ fears.
Union Square Hospitality Group’s restaurants have upgraded air filtration and cleaning systems to include both UV lighting to clean the HVAC system and filters, and bipolar ionization technology that releases positive and negative ions into the air and particles such as bacteria , Viruses and Viruses Released Mold spores form a cluster and can then be captured by filters such as MERV 8.
Meyer’s company has also reconfigured the dining rooms with the Rockwell Group, which is also working with other restaurants on design changes related to the safety of Covid, in terms of layouts, guest flow and team member movements. Plexiglass partitions have been added to the host booths to minimize arrival contact and signage throughout the space. The guests’ temperature is also measured and they are asked to scan a QR code on arrival which is linked to a contact form.
Lindsey J. Leininger is a clinical professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and one of the directors of the Love pandemic Public Health Campaign told the New York Times She is concerned that restaurant workers will have to breathe in the same indoor air as guests and then commute to what many multi-generational households may have. “If any of them get exposed in a restaurant, they could bring back that exposure to their grandmother’s diabetes,” she told the Times, adding, “I can’t tell you eating indoors is safe. Period. Period.”
Cases of Covid-19 recently surfaced in New York City, but Gottlieb said this wasn’t a big problem yet.
“New York City is in control right now, and we cannot draw any full conclusions from the surge we’ve seen,” he said. “It’s a worrying sign but not yet a trend. So New York has some time to figure it out.”
However, the coronavirus expert said the indoor restaurants will reopen ahead of a potentially worse Covid-19 season. “I think the trend is going upwards in autumn and winter,” said Gottlieb. He added that some cities will be able to hold profits through vigilant chasing and wearing masks. but there will be an upward trend.
The pandemic has ravaged the food service industry across the country, and New York City in particular, which The New York Times estimates were up to a third of the nearly 3,000 small businesses that had permanently closed by August Bars and restaurants.
Meyer said in a tweet after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the reopening plan: “25% is a bad start, but restaurants are finally getting clarity without which future planning / adjustment was impossible. We proved it that we can keep one. ” another safe and we’ll do just fine. “
More than six months after the states introduced stay-at-home orders, over 100,000 bars and restaurants – or 15% of all dining and drinking establishments – did so permanently closedaccording to estimates by the National Restaurant Association. The trading group predicts that $ 240 billion in restaurant sales will be lost to the pandemic this year.