Coronavirus is believed to be spread mainly from person to person through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, but also through small droplets that escape our mouths even when we speak.  We are hoping that if people are sick they stay home and don’t go out to pick up food from a restaurant, bring their car to a mechanic, or go shopping at Target or a grocery store.  The challenge here is that people may be infected without showing any symptoms so it is best to act as if anyone we interact with may be contagious.

An important way to protect those that interact with customers on a daily basis is to create physical barriers between the worker and the customer.  This will help block the transmission of the virus if either of them are infected.  Grocery store chains are installing see-through plastic barriers at checkout stands to help prevent any transmission of coronavirus between shoppers and cashiers.  A representative of Safeway grocery stores said this week that it was installing Plexiglas barriers in all locations across the country, and should have them up in every store by the middle of next week.  They explained “The Plexiglas will serve as protective barrier between customers and cashiers and provide added reassurance and peace of mind”.  

Trader Joe’s, Whole foods, Save Mart, FoodMaxx and Lucky are some of the many stores around the United States that are in the process of installing Plexiglas barriers at store registers.  James Araby, campaign director for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Local 5, called the checkout barriers “a well-meaning attempt of certain grocers to reinforce the social distancing guidelines that have been put into place” and “a thoughtful measure taken by grocers to help create a sense of protection.”

The actions that these companies are taking falls directly in line with CDC (Center of Disease Control) guidelines “To shield against droplets from coughs or sneezes, install a section of clear plastic at the customer contact area to provide barrier protection (e.g., Plexiglas type material or clear plastic sheet). Configure with a pass-through opening at the bottom of the barrier for people to speak through or share items, if feasible.”  The variety of Plexiglas Covid-19 Guards on our site are engineered specifically to provide this recommended protection.  Any store with customer interaction can benefit from using a plastic barrier including but not limited to: doctor’s offices, restaurants, hardware stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, big-box stores, car mechanics, banks and airports.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-resources/pharmacies.html

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-bay-area-grocery-stores-installing-see-through-barriers-at-checkout/

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-nonessential-business-essential-business-coronavirus-2020-3

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