Eat It, Virginia


Gelati Celesti stops offering samples amid Omicron spread

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jan 07, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia, on Friday, recorded the most positive COVID-19 tests and the most hospitalizations due to COVID since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago.

While some businesses are less strict about social distancing and mask-wearing due to the availability of COVID vaccine, others continue to adapt to ever-changing times.

Richmond-based ice cream maker Gelati Celesti is one such business.

Over the past nearly two years, the ice cream shops' nine Virginia locations have changed things up at times, including touch-free payment/delivery and shortening business hours.

On Friday it announced it would temporarily stop offering ice cream samples to curious customers.

"While we absolutely LOVE to give out samples, the practice results in more exposure to customers and staff," Gelati Celesti posted on social media. "Customers have to remove their masks to eat the samples and secondly, there's more direct contact between each of us. It's a sad day for us but we know we'll be back to sampling soon."

The World Health Organization says a record 9.5 million COVID-19 cases were tallied over the last week as the omicron variant of the coronavirus swept the planet, a 71% increase from the previous 7-day period that the U.N. health agency likened to a “tsunami.”

But there was a decrease in the number of new deaths recorded.

“Last week, the highest number of COVID-19 cases were reported so far in the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

He said the WHO was certain that was an underestimate because of a backlog in testing around the year-end holidays.

The U.N. health agency, in its weekly report on the pandemic, said the weekly count amounted to 9,520,488 new cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews