SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – San Francisco restaurants are poised to welcome guests again with the help of new technology. The city is expected to announce the move to the Red Steps on Tuesday.
When guests return to La Mar at the Embarcardero, the food and space look familiar. However, there is a patented technology hidden in its HVAC system that can safely clean the room air.
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It’s called NPBI from Global Plasma Solutions. The technology uses an electronic charge to create a plasma field filled with ions. They attach themselves to particles in the air.
“This has been used in restaurants in Japan where you kill the pathogens because you literally ionize them and they don’t – you ionize the air and they need hydrogen in the air and they can’t – and any virus is what lives in the air , can’t live. I think it would replace ventilation, ”said Monica Gandhi, infectious disease expert at UCSF.
Dr. Gandhi says the technology is a reasonable idea when San Francisco enters the Red Level. She emphasizes proper masking and distancing as critical to safety.
“When the technology is in place and they say it’s safe, let’s go and we’ll obviously monitor the numbers and see what happens,” said Jackie McAninch of San Francisco.
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In SoMa, Wagyu-focused Japanese restaurant Gozu says a hospital-grade UV light disinfection system from UV Guardian will help welcome customers back to a safe and clean environment. UV-C systems can kill pathogens in the air and come into contact with the surface when no one is present.
“Both ions and UV light serve the same purpose – that whatever hangs in the air – is swept away with ventilation – is killed with UV light or ions in the air,” said Dr. Gandhi.
As part of the Red Tier, eating is permitted indoors with a capacity of 25 percent.
“I wouldn’t say I’d rather be indoors at this point, but I would say it’s definitely an option I’m looking forward to,” said Zan Foltyniak from San Francisco.
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The last time you were allowed to eat indoors in San Francisco was at the end of September. If the announcement is made on Tuesday, the city will officially move to the Red Plain on Wednesday.