WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Silver Diner has installed an interior air filtration and purification system at all 18 of its locations — a half a million dollar investment in safe dining inside its restaurants. The system eliminates 99.9% of pathogens it encounters. 

This is the first time the veteran-owned, Richmond-based company, Veteran LED, has installed its systems in restaurants. Air purifiers, with HEPA filtration, are mounted on the walls throughout the restaurant, continuously cleaning the air during business hours. UVC-light sterilizers, installed on the ceiling, will be used for an hour each day on high touch areas in the kitchen area. At night, the interior will light up in UVC-light to kill pathogens and sterilize surfaces. 

“As the industry grows, these systems are going to become more and more cost effective. Manufacturing ramps up, the supply chain ramps up,” said Christopher Rawlings, Veteran LED’s chief efficiency officer. “And so it’s just going to become the new normal. When you walk into a dining facility and see an air purifier on the wall it’ll be the same as when you see an HVAC system on the wall right now.” 

UV-C light has been used in healthcare facilities, hospitals, and labs for about 100 years. Boston University determined that the light inactivated COVID-19. The plexiglas separators, hand sanitizer stations, gloves, and temperature checks aren’t going away.