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  • Writer's picturePalate Partners

Opening our School Safely in the era of COVID-19 [UPDATED]

UPDATE: in preparation for starting our 2021 HYBRID and in-person classes we have had the team at Servpro come in and do a full covid-certified cleaning of our space.

We here at Palate Partners & Dreadnought Wines feel the health and well-being of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. During this very daunting time, it’s been extremely difficult to navigate the waters of running our school. Just like everyone else, we’ve never experienced something like the covid-19 pandemic, but we want you to know that we are doing everything we can to keep a safe environment for our students and employees.

Opening the doors of our school is a decision we do not take lightly, so we wanted to share some of the details behind our decision to welcome students back for in-person classes.

Because we are small, and keeping our classes well under the limit for gatherings (we allow 14 individuals and 2 instructors - maximum), we are able to move forward with in-person classes at this time. We are closely following all CDC guidelines and have contacted the Allegheny Health Department to confirm we are doing everything right. As long as Allegheny County stays in the Green we will continue to accommodate on-site classes, and small events.

For those curious what stopping by the shop and school look like these days - To enter our building (for wine pick-ups, classes, etc.) all customers, students, and employees must wear a mask. All students and instructors are tested with a touchless thermometer to confirm they do not have a fever before entering the classroom. Once in the classroom students are seated a minimum of 6 ft apart. We also always have hand sanitizer available as well as soap and water.

Furthermore, our entire building has been sanitized and deep cleaned (even our carpeting has been removed and replaced with easily sanitizable laminate commercial-grade flooring). Where possible, we have begun using disposable items, including disposable plates and utensils. All glassware is cleaned using high-heat for extra sanitation. All classrooms are diligently cleaned before and after all classes.

We understand that some of you are very eager to get back to class, we also understand others just aren’t comfortable attending at this time. And we’re hoping to accommodate all of you as best we can. With our offering of online, in-person, and hybrid classes we hope that we can continue to help everyone grow their wine, spirits and sake knowledge in a way that works best for them.

Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to thank everyone who has donated to our go fund me to help us make these changes and keep our doors open at a time that has hit small business harder than we could have anticipated.

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