The prevailing means of Covid-19 transmission is via virus-containing microdroplets expelled when someone who is infected either sneezes or coughs. As such, it is imperative that people do not come into direct contact with these microdroplets, aka aerosol clouds.
It is widely recommended that acrylic partitions be used to help prevent the spread of microdroplets, and communicable diseases in general. These partitions can be used in lieu of very strict physical distancing, but the partitions can also be used as a way to force separation between people, or between groups of people.
Thousands of public locations throughout the country have already installed partitions; these are limited to “sneeze guards” in the form of small acrylic partitions at check-out counters at places like gas stations, grocery stores, etc.
We propose using a similar concept for the restaurant, co-working and hospitality industry. These establishments are currently shut-down- nearly all across the country. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the new mandates from the various Governor's Office and the State's Depts of Public Health, as they will instruct restaurants et al. on how they can re-open. It is expected that they will be required to cut their available seating/tables in half, to maintain social distancing. This is a devastating loss of revenue, for an entire industry that has already suffered catastrophic hits.
Black Hound Design Company- a Colorado-based manufacturer- has a solution. We have a patent-pending design for a large, mobile, acrylic partition system that can be placed between and around desks, tables, booths and bars; size: 50"L x 20"W x 6'H.
These partitions-meant for co-working offices, restaurants, breweries, hotels and other public spaces- maintain social distancing in an efficient, adaptable way. They are clear for visibility, and can be customized with logos or graphics for branding and aesthetics. They are lightweight, easy to move- with wheels- and a safe way to keep businesses up and running.
The National Restaurant Association ServSafe- in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration, public health officials, industry representatives, academia, the Conference for Food Protection- stated that physical barriers or partitions are acceptable in restaurants as a means of social distancing.
We have yet to see an effective partition divider product at restaurants in the United States.
Black Hound Design Company, a Colorado manufacturer, is producing it.
Features and Benefits
Black Hound Design Company has considered many aspects of the partition divider design for ease of use.
Moving: Durable caster wheels are welded to one side of the divider base for easy moving. These wheels are inset to reduce tripping hazards, and have a low profile of two inches. In addition, their position on the base of the divider is so that the wheels are only engaged when the frame is tilted to approximately 20-30 degrees. To move the divider, employees of the business simply just tilt the frame and roll to a new location. The lightweight design makes these dividers easy for any adult to move unassisted. Further, rubber straps adhered to the base mitigate floor scratches. The low-profile of the base meets egress codes.
Location/Position: Depending on the floor plan of a business, dividers can be placed between tables, booths, or workstations. The dividers can be used one frame at a time (4’ x 6’), or several can be easily assembled to create a longer divider via our innovative base design. The frame of the divider has magnets incorporated into the structure for seamless assembly of multiple units.
Cleaning: Durable, clear acrylic panels can be easily cleaned with disinfectant after each use. The polycarbonate plastic has an AR MR coating, which improves its durability against sun damage, and prevents scratching as the result of being cleaned with harsh chemicals like bleach. The metal frame and base of the divider is made of powder coated steel, which will not rust and is also easily cleaned with disinfectant.
Storage: For times when the dividers are not in use, their small footprint of 20 inches by 50 inches makes it so they can be easily rolled and stacked out of the way.
Long Term Maintenance: In the event an acrylic panel gets damaged or scratched, they can be easily removed and replaced with a new panel. This design makes these dividers a viable, long lasting product for businesses.