By Aly Grubb
The Fox Theatre has announced it has achieved the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Fox Theatre has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. The accreditation is one of many health and safety preparations the Atlanta theatre has made to reopen.
As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training, and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies that the Fox Theatre implements best practices to prepare for, respond to, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.
“By taking this important step to pursue the GBAC STAR, the Fox Theatre has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely”, says GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger.
To achieve this accreditation, the Fox was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at www.gbac.org.
In addition to earning the GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Fox is making significant improvements to the facility’s air quality. Most notably, the theatre has consulted with Mathias Environmental out of Duluth, GA to design and install an Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) system in its heating and air ventilation system. The technology, recognized for disinfection of air by both the CDC and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRE) uses UVC lighting to attack the DNA and RNA of pathogens found in the air. “UVC has been used to combat the spread of airborne pathogens like Tuberculosis since the 1960’s,” says Jeff Stines of American Ultraviolet, the company providing most of the Fox’s UV lighting equipment. “Once installed, the technology is designed to inactivate up to 99% of viruses on every air cycle.”
The theatre’s air quality improvement project adds to a list of evolving health and safety preparations it has made since shutting down last March.
“The Fox’s determination to utilize one of the most effective and proven technologies backed by decades of testing and research, is a refreshing example of a facility and its management that doesn’t just say they’re doing something effective and meaningful but prove they are with an investment like this,” says Dave Heydinger, President of the Mathias Environmental.
Regarding some operational changes, guests returning to the Fox can expect a more contactless event experience:
Digital tickets to replace paper tickets and print-at-home delivery options
Mobile entry with self-scanning pedestals
Guest-facing credit card terminals and contactless payment options
Plexi-glass partitions at all food and beverage service locations
Touchless hand sanitizers throughout the theatre
Mobile pick-up on select food and beverage through the Fox Mobile App
“Local, state, and federal guidelines related to resuming indoor live events continue to evolve. We are continuing preparations for a summer reopening and will share further event updates including guest implications as they develop,” says Allan Vella, President and CEO of the Fox Theatre.
Aly Grubb is Director of Marketing for The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.