From government officials to business owners – everyone is trying to slow the spread of the COVID19 virus. From practicing social distancing to getting vaccinated to wearing face masks – we’re doing our best to eliminate virus transmission risks. Thankfully, there are various tools (commonly known as Personal Protective Equipment or “PPE”) that amplify our efforts to maintain safety.
One PPE that’s quickly becoming a must-have item in various public spaces is sneeze guards. On the surface, a sneeze guard is a very simple tool. But, it serves a critical purpose. These guards are typically made of plexiglass, acrylic, glass, or plastic shields. They prevent people from spreading their respiratory droplets when they’re breathing, coughing, sneezing, or communicating with other people.
In the past 18-24 months, the number of searches on Google for sneeze guards has increased by over 200%. Why is everyone rushing to buy sneeze guards? That’s because these items have become mandatory protection tools in various locations. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has mandated the use of protective sneeze barriers and guards in the following places –
- Gyms and Fitness Studios: During the first year of the COVID19 pandemic, gyms across the globe were temporarily shut down. In the post-pandemic world, operators at countless fitness studios use sneeze guards to minimize virus transmission risks. Many gym members prefer working out in establishments that are protected with sneeze guards.
- Cash Registers at Retail Stores: Grocery stores, retail shops, and other brick-and-mortar stores benefit greatly from using sneeze guards. Storeowners install these protective barriers in front of their cash registers. Sneeze guards minimalize the risk of germs spreading from customers to workers and vice versa.
- Transportation: Many public and private transportation companies use sneeze guards to safeguard their customers’ health. For example, Uber and Lyft ask their drivers to install plexiglass shields to separate their vehicles’ front and backseats. Thanks to these barriers, a customer sitting in the protected back seat cannot spread or inhale potentially harmful respiratory droplets.
- Gas Stations: Like retail stores, several gas station operators have installed plexiglass barriers at their pumps. They place these protective barriers over the credit card readers. The barriers prevent customers from spreading germs and infecting the gas station workers or other customers.
- Schools: Some schools have mandated the use of plexiglass barriers inside classrooms, administrative offices, etc. In many parts of the world, children are yet to receive their COVID19 vaccinations. Sneeze guards protect such vulnerable children from spreading or picking up harmful germs or viruses.
- Hospitals and Clinics: The use of high-quality plexiglass barriers and sneeze guards is mandatory in all hospitals and clinics.
- Customer Service Centers: From reception desks at banks to meet-and-greet spots in hair salons, sneeze guards are vital tools for customer service professionals. These guards ensure that interactions and transactions between customers are safe, hygienic, and free from virus transmission risks.
Sneeze guards are light, easy to install, and reusable. Users can wash these guards and reuse them for several years. That’s why they’ve exploded in popularity across multiple industries over the past two years.