There are things each of us can do in our daily lives to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, and information is key to staying safe and healthy.
Read on to discover more about the virus, how it transmits, what steps we can take in our offices and workplaces to help prevent transmission, and why Perspex® social distancing screens are an essential tool in keeping you and your colleagues safe.
What Is The Difference Between Coronavirus and COVID-19?
COVID-19 and Coronavirus are both monikers that refer to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which is responsible for the current global pandemic.
How Is The Virus Spread?
Coronavirus can be spread in a variety of ways, and scientists are still now discovering new information about transmission rates. While the rate at which this disease can spread does vary with the different strains being discovered, the types of transmission fall into 3 categories: contact or droplet transmission, airborne or aerosol transmission and fomite transmission.
- Contact/Droplet Transmission: This type of transmission refers to respiratory droplets, usually >5-10 μm in diameter, which are expelled when an infectious person breathes, sneezes, coughs, shouts or sings. These droplets are ‘relatively’ heavy in comparison to aerosols and therefore cannot remain in the air for a long time or across long distances. Face masks catch the majority of these larger droplets, and remaining socially distanced and using divider screens offers an additional layer of protection.
- Airborne/Aerosol Transmission: At present believed to be the most common form of virus transmission, droplet nuclei or ‘aerosols’ remain in the air for longer periods and can travel over larger distances thanks to their small diameter (<5 µm). Current research shows that infection rates in indoor areas can be minimised if all parties wear masks, reduce the amount of time spent in company indoors, and if the rooms remain well-ventilated which prevents build-up of these aerosol particles.
- Fomite Transmission: Originally thought to be the least common form of virus transmission, recent studies have shown that fomite transmission is much more prevalent than we realised. Fomites are surfaces that have been contaminated with respiratory droplets from an infected person. This is the reason we are asked to regularly wash or sanitise our hands and contact surfaces, and why it is now recommended to wipe down or wash all parcels, packages or purchases before use.
How Do I Know if I Have Coronavirus?
The three most commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- A new and persistent cough (for more than an hour, or 3 or more episodes in 24h)
- A fever (usually accompanied by a headache, but not always)
- A change to or loss of your sense of smell or taste
If you experience any one of these symptoms, you, and anyone else in your household, must immediately begin isolating. If it is not an emergency, call the NHS 111 helpline for more advice or book a test through the NHS Covid App. In an emergency always dial 999.
How Do We Prevent The Spread of Coronavirus?
Reducing the opportunities that the virus has to infect people is the only way to prevent it from spreading like wildfire through our communities. This is why social distancing measures have been in place in public spaces since the outbreak of the pandemic in the UK, and why we are asked to remain socially distanced from those not in our household ‘bubbles’ at all times. Wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces helps to protect others in environments such as supermarkets, and washing or sanitising our hands regularly protects not only ourselves but for others too. Using Test & Trace methods where possible to track Coronavirus cases in the community is important, as is self-isolating when you or someone close to you shows symptoms or receives a positive test result.
Installing protective measures such as Perspex social distancing screens in our offices, workplaces and public spaces is an essential tool to fight the spread of the virus and one of the best methods of keeping workers safe.
What Are The UK Government Guidelines About Social Distancing Screens In The Workplace?
The UK Health & Safety Executive requires that employees are kept at least 2m apart in workplaces wherever possible unless screens and partitions are installed which stop virus particles from spreading person-to-person.
When used in conjunction with taped-off areas, signage, limiting workforce numbers, proper ventilation of offices and education around hygiene and safety measures, social distancing screens can help reduce the transmission of the virus when kept clean and sanitised regularly.
Why Should I Choose Screens Made From Perspex?
Perspex is easy to keep clean and sanitised, which is important for preserving a hygienic, socially distanced workspace.
Perspex also offers an extremely high level of clarity, allowing 92% of light rays to pass through it. This means that quality Perspex® panels will give your workspace a light, open feel. In fact, the high-quality Perspex you’ll find in our social distancing screens offers better optical clarity than glass, making communication between your employees easy and safe.
How Do I Clean My Perspex Screens?
To remove smears and smudges and everyday dirt, use a microfibre cloth to wipe down your Perspex screen with warm, soapy water. These cloths are soft and designed to be more effective than paper towels in removing harmful bacteria and viruses – and they’re less likely to scratch your panel. DO NOT use ammonia-based products on your Perspex screen - these can damage the surface of the acrylic and cause cloudiness and discolouration.
To sanitise your Perspex screen and remove all traces of viruses and bacteria, use an antibacterial wipe or diluted bleach solution, and then polish the surface with a microfibre cloth.
How Do I Set Up a Socially Distanced Workplace?
Layout, cost and practicality are all factors you will need to consider when purchasing screens and dividers. We sell many different Perspex® screens in a variety of different shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of different businesses. Browse our selections below or speak to our team for more advice.
Perspex® Screens For Offices
For socially distanced desk bank dividers, these Framed Clear Perspex® Screens For Desks offer a modern and sleek solution for an office space. Link them inline, or in a cross formation. If you need something that stands on the office floor, we recommend a style such as this Freestanding Perspex® Office Partition.
Perspex® Screens For Shops & Receptions
For retail spaces and receptions, a desk screen with a service hatch in the base to make customer transactions easy and safe is essential. The ACHOO® Crystal Clear Free Standing Perspex Screen is ideal for shops, bars, tills, counters, post offices and receptions. View our complete range of premium ACHOO® Screens
Perspex® Screens For Medical & Care Facilities
In environments where 1-2-1 interactions happen regularly at close quarters, high-quality, practical social distancing screen options are important to have. Purchasing something portable, like this Mobile Perspex® Divider Medical Screen, is useful in many situations. For a specific treatment option, the Perspex® Arm Vaccination Screen offers protection for nurses, doctors and pharmacists while carrying out basic medical procedures.
The GUARDIAN Dignity Mobile Medical Screen is a mobile medical panel screen designed for medical clinics and to help with the safe rollout of vaccinations. They are portable privacy screens on wheels that are ideal for use between patients and hospital ward beds.
Perspex® Screens For Restaurants, Salons & Gyms
Public-facing venues like gyms, restaurants, beauty salons, hairdressers and bars need versatile and adjustable methods of social distancing as they are places where multiple people gather together. A social distancing screen that’s easy to move around, such as these Portable Perspex® Protection Screens on Wheels offers a flexible option. Alternatively, these Hanging Protection Screens are extremely versatile and offer a hygienic barrier without taking up any floor space.
For more information on how to find the right social distancing screen option for your workplace, speak to our knowledgeable team by using the form on the Contact Us page or calling 01234 676767.