A recent report from the New York Times is creating even more confusion for Big Apple business owners this week, claiming “clear barriers” that were previously recommended to separate patrons during the pandemic “may make things worse” in spreading the disease.
“Intuition tells us a plastic shield would be protective against germs. But scientists who study aerosols, air flow and ventilation say that much of the time, the barriers don’t help and probably give people a false sense of security. And sometimes the barriers can make things worse,” writes the New York Times.
“Research suggests that in some instances, a barrier protecting a clerk behind a checkout counter may redirect the germs to another worker or customer. Rows of clear plastic shields, like those you might find in a nail salon or classroom, can also impede normal air flow and ventilation,” adds the newspaper.
Plastic anti-Covid barriers now common in public places have little effect on the virus, and in some cases could help it spread, research suggests.https://t.co/3YsYdIaQcD
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 19, 2021
“If you have a forest of barriers in a classroom, it’s going to interfere with proper ventilation of that room,” said Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. “Everybody’s aerosols are going to be trapped and stuck there and building up, and they will end up spreading beyond your own desk.”
Other studies, including one published by Johns Hopkins University, found the barriers used in classrooms were “associated with an increased risk of coronavirus infection.”
Read the full report at the New York Times.