(The Center Square) – With fall just around the corner, many businesses are looking for ways to extend use of outdoor facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current health guidance from the CDC says outdoor activities are recommended over those indoors, which has led to increased business at New England Tent & Awning in Brunswick, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Owner David Norton has been providing tents to health care facilities, restaurants, breweries, and gyms.
“This incredible surge (in demand) for tents has filled the gaps for canceled weddings and events, like the Yarmouth Clam Festival and Highland Games,” Norton told the Herald.
At Bath Iron Works, the manufacturer began setting up tents to create extra space for meal breaks when spring temperatures were still in the 40s and 50s, and the company plans to leave them up as long as possible.
“I’m not aware of any plans to change things up when the cold weather hits,” spokesman David Hench told the Herald. “It was pretty blustery and frigid some days after we started this spring, and they were used less on those days.”
A 20-by-40-foot tent is set up in a fitness studio parking lot at Hannaford Plaza, and 20 stationary bikes for class participants are spaced six feet apart.
Some restaurants plan to pivot by offering seating like that found at winter resorts, with heating units set up outside to help keep bundled up diners as warm as possible.
Ann Smith, who is vice president of merchandising at L.L. Bean, told the Herald that layering is key for dealing with the elements. Hats and socks to keep one’s head and feet warm offer important protection.
While sharing blankets around an outdoor fire pit is not encouraged during a pandemic, an individual fleece throw also can be helpful when the temperature drops.