With COVID-19 case numbers rising and colder weather settling in, you've probably seen a lot of plastic tents going up outside restaurants and asked yourself: "Is that any safer than indoor dining?"
The answer, according to this story from Bloomberg, via our sister paper Crain's New York Business, is ... not really. Especially not if the tent sides are down to prevent a cold wind from blowing through.
"It is sort of the Wild West out there with the creation of these structures," Jack Caravanos, a clinical professor at New York University's School of Global Public Health, said.
"Think about it as if you're sitting near someone smoking a cigarette. The more air circulation there is, the less likely you are to be bothered by the smell of a nearby smoker. The more enclosed the space, the more likely it is that smoke will hang in the air. The same is true of the airborne respiratory droplets and particles that can carry the virus," Bloomberg writes.
So while tents may be popular when indoor dining isn't safe, engineers and health experts are warning you should remain cautious.
Of course takeout options also are nice. Just remember to leave a tip, if you can.