Space Needle Reopens With High-Tech Coronavirus Protections

SEATTLE, WA — The Space Needle has reopened to visitors, and has been outfitted with

SEATTLE, WA — The Space Needle has reopened to visitors, and has been outfitted with new tech in an attempt to make the visit as safe as possible.

One of the biggest innovations: organizers say they’ve been able to sanitize the air itself using two types of ultraviolet lights. Using UV-C and Far-UV-C lights, both of which have been proven effective at stopping viruses in the air, they’re set up four new systems to scour the building’s interior of any possible disease vectors:

  • The UV sanitizing entry gate: Entering guests will be asked to spend 20 seconds inside the gate. It shines Far-UV-C light which the Space Needle says will eliminate 90 percent of surface contaminants.

  • New elevator lights: UV radiating lights have been installed in the elevators to make the ride to the top and return trip to earth safer.

  • Air circulation upgrades: UV-C lamps have been installed in the building’s HVAC system on the ground, in the elevators and on the observation deck. The UV-C lights are capable of killing more than 95 percent of airborne pathogens as they circulate through the building.

  • New surface cleaning: UV light disinfecting systems will be used to sweep the building overnight and the elevators between uses. The Space Needle says similar machines are used to help hospitals during their deep cleans.

Organizers say, they believe that with all four UV light programs up and running the Space Needle will have “hospital-quality” air inside, severely tamping down on the possibility of new coronavirus infections.

Several other precautions have also been put in place, including:

  • Mask and facial covering requirements. Staff will also provide masks to visitors who don’t have their own.

  • Physical distancing requirements. Visitors will be asked to keep a safe six feet from anyone who is not a part of their household while inside the needle.

  • Extra hand sanitizer stations.

  • Eliminating cash transactions. All purchases will be made with cards or online. A machine in the lobby has also been installed that can convert cash to cards for anyone who doesn’t have a card on hand.

Geekwire reports that the new tech cost the Space Needle over $1 million, money organizers say is well spent if it will help keep staff and visitors safe.

This article originally appeared on the Seattle Patch

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