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With limited indoor dining capacity and colder weather fast approaching in many parts of the country, restaurants have worked quickly to create comfortable outdoor dining solutions such as plexiglass pods and handcrafted wooden platforms with mini-greenhouses.
But the once seemingly temporary tents and structures have increasingly become permanent fixtures along sidewalks, streets and parking lots, prompting concerns from public health experts that the benefits of eating outdoors -- ventilation, access to outside air, increased airflow -- are becoming diminished.
"Outdoors means no walls, no ceiling," Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist and professor at University of California, Los Angeles' Fielding School of Public Health, told ABC News. "When I see these tents consists of walls, (they) don’t have the ventilation the way an indoor restaurant would."