SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Businesses are getting creative with different ways to keep customers warm while dining outside this winter. One of the latest trends can be found at the Vantage Rooftop Lounge and Conservatory, Igloos!
“We’re just really trying to make it a positive thing and take some extra precautions of cleaning," said Jennifer Peterson, the Director of Sales and Marketing with Hotel Vandivort.
The rooftop lounge overlooking downtown Springfield is making room for seven igloos this year. That’s two more 12 x 8 foot igloos than they had last winter.
We asked the Springfield-Greene County Health Department about the safety of the igloos considering the pandemic.
In an email to KY3 News, they said in part, “We are grateful to all of those in our business community who are looking for innovative ways to incorporate outdoor spaces into their plans for the colder months.” They went on, “we’re not aware of any of the solutions local business have proposed that have been in conflict with the city’s Stay at Home Orders.”
The Vantage team did their research, too. “We talked with the health department, they suggested that we have more ventilation, so the igloo does have a couple windows, zipper windows in the back," explained Peterson. "We are suggesting that you open those this year just to increase the ventilation through the igloo.”
Peterson also said they have three foggers now part of their cleaning process between igloo guests.
“During the 15 minutes between reservations we will have a dedicated team member who will be coming in and wiping down all hard surfaces, then coming in and fogging it," said Peterson. "We have a chemical that we use that’s approved by the CDC.” The chemical is called Steramine.
Peterson said they just want people to be able to relax and feel safe. That’s why guests will also find hand sanitizer and a heater in each igloo.
“All the touch points are no different than sitting in a booth at a restaurant," said Peterson. "We’re going into the holiday season and 2020 has been such a stressful year for everybody and just kind of take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy your friends and family.”
The Health Department says they also hope people understand anytime you are in the public there’s a risk of exposure to germs. You can read their entire email they sent to KY3 News below.
We are grateful to all of those in our business community who are looking for innovative ways to incorporate outdoor spaces into their plans for the colder months. We’re not aware of any of the solutions local business have proposed that have been in conflict with the City’s Stay at Home Orders.
In regard to a headline about concerns about enclosed spaces, this is likely in reaction to CDC’s recent education on the rare potential for COVID-19 to be airborne. As noted by CDC, these reports have been in “limited, uncommon circumstances where people with COVID-19 infected others. . . in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise.” CDC did not change their guidance around COVID-19 as a result: “People can protect themselves from the virus that causes COVID-19 by staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth, washing their hands frequently, cleaning touched surfaces often and staying home when sick.”
Any venture into public during a pandemic incurs a certain amount of risk. The Health Department recommends weighing that risk and limiting gatherings with others outside of your household.
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