When Covid-19 hit, companies, schools, restaurants, and other locations put safety measures in place to help limit the spread of the virus. One item that became a staple in buildings across the globe is sneeze guards, which are protective barriers made of acrylic or glass that help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. In February 2020, the World Health Organization advised the use of “physical barriers to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus, such as glass or plastic windows,” while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that venues “place a barrier between employees and customers.” So while they were once used almost exclusively in food service and healthcare locations, sneeze guards are now found in practically every type of building imaginable. From students and teachers to customer service reps and restaurant workers, sneeze guards have become increasingly popular in various settings.
Here’s a quick guide on everything you need to know about sneeze guards.
Types of Sneeze Guards
Sneeze guards are made of one of two materials: acrylic or tempered glass. Both are good options, but it’s important to note that acrylic is 10 times more impact resistant than glass and requires less maintenance than glass.
Since every location is different, you’ll need to find the right sneeze guard for your venue. Fortunately, there are also several style options when it comes to sneeze guards. Even better: Most of these options are portable, so you can easily move them around your venue based on need. Some of the different types of sneeze guards include:
Countertop: These freestanding sneeze guards are perfect for reception areas, check-out locations, and conference tables.
Room dividers: These floor-standing sneeze guards can go as high as needed to separate areas of a room.
Table dividers: Separate long conference tables, student desks, cafeteria tables, and fast-food seating with this system of panels.
Booth dividers: Attach these sneeze guards to booths in restaurants and desktops.
Hanging dividers: Hang sneeze guards from ceilings or beams to save counter space when needed.
Where to Use Sneeze Guards
There is no shortage of places where sneeze guards can be utilized to keep people safe from the spread of germs. The most common places for sneeze guards are food service, healthcare, and retail locations. Now, however, you’ll find them at:
• Offices at reception desks and in conference rooms
• Checkout counters at a variety of retail locations
• Schools, attached at student desks, in the nurse’s room, and in the main office
• Public transportation to protect the driver and separate passenger seats.
How to Maintain and Clean a Sneeze Guard
Cleaning a sneeze guard is relatively easy. Create a mixture of mild soap—such as dishwashing detergent—and water and then dampen a clean microfiber cloth. Wipe the sneeze guard down and then dry it with a dry microfiber cloth.