High demand for plexiglass barriers


Plexiglass dividers are being used at many businesses to serve as barriers between face to face interactions under the COVID-19 pandemic, and a local manufacturer said the demand continues to grow.

Andrew Min, manager of Min Plastics and Supply, said calls about plexiglass have more than doubled at his company.

Min said, “Over the last month we have been supplying material for banks, and essential businesses like grocery stores, now we are seeing more in professional offices, so doctors and dentists.”

Before the pandemic, most of their work was manufacturing shelves and displays, but his services have expanded to meet the needs of new clients, including professional offices.

He said, “Customer service and reception areas, requesting kind of a panel it sits on top of the counter.”

As businesses slowly reopen, people can expect to see more sneeze guards in public places.

Physical barriers are included in the guidance provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in preparing workplaces for COVID-19.

The OSHA recommends for environments such as retailers and schools should install plastic sneeze guards where feasible.

Tina Yamaki, President of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, said each retailer will face different safety needs for customers and its employees. She said plastic barriers are not suited for every location but curbside pick-up models could be expanded as another solution.

“Retailers they are looking at different options, of course, safety is our number one thing when it comes to not only customers but employees as well,” Yamaki said. “Order online, and drive your car up, pop open your trunk, you show your receipt and I.D. and you get your items and you go so it’s kind of no touching involved.”

On Oahu, real-estate activities, car dealerships and automated car washes were included in the low-risk category and allowed to reopen with restrictions.

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