Preparing for the New Classroom Experience: Sneeze Guards and Barriers

From face shields to sneeze guards and barriers, it’s pretty clear that when students return to classrooms and campuses later this summer and fall, the environment they’ll be learning in will look different from when they last attended.

EZ Grip girl School Desk

Desk top sneeze guards will be common in classrooms this fall.

Open, common areas are of particular concern for administrators, teachers and parents alike. A challenge for schools is creating safe learning environments in libraries, cafeterias, and study halls.

The Center for Disease Control recommends placing a physical barrier between individuals who can’t maintain the 6-foot social distancing guidelines. The CDC also says that regular cleaning and disinfecting of sneeze guards and barriers should become part of scheduled maintenance practices.

According to a May 2020 survey by Redbook magazine, the two thing students missed most about not being in school this spring was talking to and being with their friends and interacting with their teachers. Sneeze guards and other barriers are one way to encourage that interaction and keep students and educators safe.

Schools will be looking for temporary, modular, semi-permanent or permanent barriers, depending on the location and building layout. For example, the librarians desk counter might require a permanently mounted sneeze guard with pass-through slot, while tables within the library would look for portable sneeze guards that can move based on the table configuration.

Library EZK 15 162

Suspended sneeze guards offer protection where desk mounted guards aren't practical.

Additional options include guards with magnetic bases that can attached to metal surfaces or cubicle areas in office settings, or guards suspended from ceilings where other mounting options aren’t practical. In all instances, sneeze guards should have clear acrylic inserts to allow for the social interaction and educational opportunities students missed while not in school.

Acrylic is lightweight and durable, making it ideal for high traffic areas. It’s also easy to clean and disinfect with soap and water or Novus acrylic cleaner.

Schools have already begun the planning process for their reopening, and regardless of whether a school is opening to full enrollment or partial attendance, sneeze guards and other barriers will undoubtedly be a part of the protective equipment required in the new classroom.

Johnson Plastics Plus offers a wide selection of freestanding, semi-permanent, and permanent sneeze guard kits. We can also work with you to create an affordable custom solution for specific use or areas. You can find those here on

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