California is once again making headlines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide mandate, requiring all Californians to wear masks outside their home. The only exceptions are people engaged in outdoor recreation, children younger than 2 years old, and those sitting down to eat in restaurants. The mandate comes one week after Orange County lifted its mask mandate. Newsom cited rising numbers in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state.
Reactions to the mandate are mixed. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger voiced his support for Newsom, calling the mandate "100% the right move." He also said the move should not be viewed as political. But some are making it just that. Former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party, Harmeet Dhillon, told NBC Bay Area that the mandate is a non-productive "one size fits all" policy. Both the San Jose Police Department and Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said they will not enforce the order. San Francisco and Oakland police are yet to take an official position.
Meanwhile the Bay Area is getting accustomed to the new realities of post-coronavirus society. Sanitary dividers made of plexiglass are commonplace in virtually all Bay Area businesses. Also known as "sneeze guards," businesses owners and government creatively incorporate these barriers to protect employees and clients. Plexiglass shields also help companies comply with local mandates related to COVID-19.
Plexiglass applications are likely to expand in the Bay Area based on successes in other cities.
Several cities, including Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Kansas City installed plexiglass shield around drivers years ago. They were designed to protect drivers from assaults. Now those shields serve another purpose - protecting drivers from coronavirus. Several cities are now following suit.
The Allegheny County Port Authority installed plexiglass barriers in all Pittsburgh area buses in the last several weeks. City bus drivers are essential in keeping economies moving, particularly during lockdowns. Officials said driver safety is their primary concern and took immediate action thereof. Annapolis and Cincinnati transit authorities installed plexiglass barriers in their buses last month.
The Rhode Island General Assembly reconvened on June 17. It was the first time the legislature has been together since March. Some are still calling in remotely via Zoom and Skype. But the building looks very different. Every lawmaker's desk has plexiglass shields around the entire perimeter. The shield are tall enough to allow lawmakers to stand up and still be protected by the glass. The state spent $166,000 on the project, according to the Providence Journal.
The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District in North Carolina serves about 55,000 students every year. There are 4,200 teachers and an additional 7,200 support staff, making it the 81st largest district in the USA. Thus it is a good model for what's to come in the 2020-21 school year nationwide.
The district announced yesterday that every school will be equipped with at least 20 hand-sanitizing stations, disposable masks for those who want them and electrostatic sprayers for disinfecting surfaces. Schools will also have plexiglass shields strategically placed in computer labs, offices and other areas. All of the preparations are in anticipation of the district forthcoming announcement. It will decide on July 1 whether to hold a regular school year with social distancing or full remote learning, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Eco Office has been busy throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns installing plexiglass barriers in myriad Bay Area businesses. We are retrofitting office cubicles with plexiglass barriers to ensure safe social distancing. Grocery stores, convenience stores, casinos and other companies are following suit to ensure compliance with state and county mandates. Turnaround times are currently 5-7 days, depending on job scope. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to speak to a project manager.