COLLIER COUNTY, FL. — NCH Healthcare System is thanking local restaurants for their food donations by helping them disinfect their businesses using a robot.
"The Xenex robot uses pulsed ultraviolet light to disinfect, it kills coronavirus," said Paul Hiltz, President & CEO of NCH Healthcare System.
The germ zapping robot produces full germicidal spectrum light more intense than sunlight to kill viruses and bacteria in under 5 minutes.
Thanks to contributions, NCH has been able to purchase nine Xenex robots, and they are used throughout NCH hospitals to keep a sterile environment.
"Every day all day, in the operating rooms, in the procedure rooms, in the ICU, in the COVID units," said Hiltz.
On Monday, NCH used one of its germ-zapping robots to disinfect six restaurants in Collier County.
Sails Restaurant, Bellini on Fifth, Lake Park Diner, La Colmar, Bill's Café, and New York Pizza & Pasta all have made generous meal donations to hospital staff since the pandemic began.
"We committed on that same day, that every day we would serve between 300 to 600 high-quality hot dinners every single day," said Veljko Pavicevic, General Manager at Sails Restaurant.
So far, Sails Restaurant has donated over 8,000 meals.
On Monday, as staff prepared to serve guests after weeks of only take-out, the Xenex robot made sure every inch of the restaurant was zapped for bacteria and viruses.
"It's a great community, great support, great guest, we're grateful," said Pavicevic.
As part of governor Ron DeSantis' Coronavirus guidelines, right now, restaurants can only operate at 25-percent capacity inside, and outside seating has to be spread 6-feet apart.
Michael Melucci, co-owner of Bellini on Fifth, says they're all set to reopen, but the germ-zapping robot is a big help, so customers feel reassured.
"We've been cleaning, sterilizing anything that our guests touch, we do have paper disposable menus," said Melucci.
Last week Bellini donated 400 meals to NCH, and this week they're delivering 300 lunches.
"The community is incredible here, and NCH put themselves at risk for us, it's the least we can do," said Melucci.
Both Sails Restaurant and Bellini on Fifth say they have been getting a lot of reservations already and are just thankful to all those people helping restaurants get back on their feet.