Portable Sneeze Guards Help Communities Reopen Schools Safely and Cost-efficiently

After three months of COVID-19 shutdowns, communities across the country are preparing for the safe reopening of K-12 and higher education in-person learning facilities this coming fall. Even if leaders have not yet decided to reopen schools, it’s crucial that they begin detailed planning now to help ensure students, teachers and other staff are safe when they do return and that communities can be confident in sending their students back.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued COVID-19 guidelines for schools that are very specific, although critics point out that implementing the CDC’s social distancing requirements may prove very costly and will significantly change the education landscape. Maintaining a minimum of six feet between students, teachers and administrators can require complex and expensive blended learning approaches, more busing of students, and the continuation of remote learning. Ultimately, each school district will be faced with a very hard decision pitting budget dollars versus safety.

To help communities comply with the CDC blueprint for reopening schools yet stay within limited budgets, Rockford Systems has brought to market a new caster wheel kit that adds mobility to its popular GermBlock cough and sneeze shields.

Manufactured in the United States, Rockford Systems GermBlock shields provide a physical barrier to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus by blocking airborne droplets while promoting social distancing. Attaching the castor kit to a GermBlock floor-mount shield allows one person to quickly move the shield wherever it is needed, therefore minimizing the number of shields the school needs to purchase. For example, GermBlock portable shields can be temporarily installed in the library during the day and brought down to a gym after school for sports practice. Shields can also be rolled from one classroom to the next in between periods. Or a shield can be taken from a private office to a heavily trafficked area during a special event or once a day when students need to leave the building in an orderly fashion.

Unlike flimsy plastic barriers that easily chip and break, Rockford Systems GermBlock shields are constructed of heavy-duty clear 3/16″ polycarbonate and 16-gauge 304 stainless steel ¾” framing with full penetration welds, so they can handle frequent moves throughout a school without being damaged. In addition, the stainless-steel frame allows the shields to be washed down and sterilized per the CDC’s recommendation for frequent cleaning.

Available in 36-inch and 48-inch width versions, Rockford Systems GermBlock castor kits not only permit effortless movement with a 360-degree turning radius, they also supply more stability to the shield due to a lower center of gravity. The food-grade, polyurethane casters are 4-inches in diameter, with two wheels being fixed and two wheels that swivel. Foot-controlled brakes lock the swivel wheels into place for safe use.

Many school leaders worry about another scenario this fall, one in which frightened parents refuse to send their children back to school, even if in-person classes do resume. Rockford Systems GermBlock shields act as a visible reminder to parents that the school district has taken serious precautions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

To learn more, visit www.rockfordsystems.com/product/germblock-cough-and-sneeze-shields

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