Do plexiglass barriers actually prevent viral transmission?

From the presidential debate stage to the drugstore on the corner, it seems like plexiglass barriers meant to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are suddenly ubiquitous. But do the see-through shields really work to protect against the virus, or are they simply another example of hygiene theater? The answer is a bit of both, Vox reports. The barriers do block large droplets—say, from a person speaking loudly at close range—but they don’t protect from the risk of inhaling airborne particles. Other factors like air flow matter, too, and it’s important to also wear a mask. Despite the science, business is booming for plexiglass suppliers. They don’t expect demand to last far past 2021. 

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