Wear a mask, wash your hands, and sanitize your surroundings – That is the Covid-19 protocol we’re following almost everywhere across the world to protect ourselves and others around us. It is essential to maintain social distancing of 6 feet to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. In the last few months, we have witnessed a plethora of changes and a vast number of innovations to protect ourselves. One such innovation is plexiglass, acrylic, or transparent plastic product being used as barriers between individuals.
A lot of businesses and companies are using plexiglass and similar partitions to get going with work while taking care of t safety measures. One of the most critical questions that could pop in our mind is – how beneficial is plexiglass to reduce Covid-19 spread?
How is plexiglass helpful in containing the spread of COVID-19?
Plexiglass is a smooth, strong, and durable sheet, and has superior weathering properties. It is transparent and provides clarity too, so it is popularly being used in retail stores for displays, shelves, and fixtures and as pharmacy windows, and in triage and registration counters in medical streams. The acrylic plastic has better strength than glass, can filter UV light, has enhanced environment stability, is resistant to abrasions, scratch, and shattering, and transmits around 92% light.
The following are the advantages of using plexiglass to reduce the spread of Covid-19:
● The plexiglass shields are nonporous. This provides a sense of protection to both the customers and employees of the stores.
● These acrylic barriers avoid contamination by blocking droplets released while talking, coughing, or sneezing.
● They are functional and can be used in any public place to maintain social distancing.
● Such physical barriers have been recommended by the CDC and WHO in controlling the spread of viruses, especially at workplaces.
● These enforce distancing protocols.
● These plexiglass barriers reduce dependency on face masks and shields, which are not easily available if there is a shortage in some markets .
However, buyers and consumers of plexiglass barriers should also understand that they cannot completely cut down the risk because-
● Even after using the plexiglass, it is essential to maintain social distance along with other protection protocols including washing hands and wearing masks.
● The barriers do not give a 100% guarantee of protection from COVID-19.
● Not everyone can be comfortable wearing barriers as they hamper airflow and could be risky in fire stations.
Importance of plexiglass for businesses during COVID-19
A majority of businesses in the world are struggling during this pandemic. Consumers are afraid to step into the public spaces as they may get infected. Salons to retail stores, clinics to shopping markets, restaurants to clubs—all want to resume their businesses by adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols and regain trust among their customers, clients, and visitors.
Meanwhile, in such a crucial scenario, having plexiglass barriers installed in and around the workplace and public area setups is not only a creative but also a practical solution. It is an effective strategy to combat the virus and, at the same time, instill trust factor among the consumers that their protection is taken care of.
It is not possible for all workers to wear PPE kits during work, not only due to practical reasons but also due to unavailability and its major requirement for healthcare workers. Hence, the use of plexiglass in workplaces is not only functional and beneficial but also a win-win situation for both businesses and consumers. Nonetheless, we should all understand the right ways of using these barriers. Read on to know more about them.
What are the best practices to use plexiglass?
Plexiglass barriers provide separation between individuals who are in close proximity. It is essential to figure out the high-risk areas of coronavirus transmission where the plexiglass barriers can be installed. These priority areas should depend on factors such as placement, density, risk level, workplace type, visitor frequency, and pathway density.
Some of the high-risk areas where the spread of Covid-19 can be difficult to control are:
● Buses and transportation shuttles.
● Food services including restaurants, serving counters, and cashiers.
● Kiosks, ticketing centers, and transportation desks.
● Information desks and reception centers.
● Medical facilities, check-in areas, and screening points.
● Cashier lanes and high volume points.
● Library and cubicles at workplaces.
● Pharmacy and dining check out areas.
Five factors to keep in mind when installing plexiglass barriers
1. Safety factors should be kept in mind when installing the partitions. The barriers should not hinder the people’s sight or movement.
2. The partition’s width should be friendly for the user, allowing them to see and speak properly. The partition should be as wide as the desk, countertop, or surface. It is better to have stickers or signage on the barriers to let the people know about it.
3. The dimensions of the plexiglass barriers should be more than the user’s breathing zone. The partition’s height should be measured to accommodate the height of a tall person. It should stand as a barrier from the forehead to the chest level.
4. Ensure there are openings on the barriers wherever the exchange of products is required. For instance, there should be an opening of 4×10 inches to pass on documents from one side to another.
5. Once the installation is complete, the barriers should be maintained well by sanitizing regularly.
Plexiglass barriers are designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19 to a great extent and offer considerable benefits. When they are designed and installed properly, they can prevent contamination and protect people. Nonetheless, even with the protection of plexiglass, you should not overlook any signs of infection. Although the possibility drops significantly, anyone can contract Covid-19, regardless of top-notch safety measures. In case you observe any symptoms, please get tested immediately.
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