The plastic shield you sometimes see covering food in bakeries and buffets is called a sneezeguard for good reason; it protects food from germs and infections. Now, thanks to a few enterprising businesses, some casinos will be installing sneezeguards at their gaming tables.
A Post-Mask World
After people get through the pandemic and start gathering again in groups, gamblers will head back to the casinos. In order to offer year-round protection from future viral outbreaks, a firm called Screaming Images is installing plastic shields at certain casino gaming tables.
The clear acrylic safety shields made by Screaming Images can be installed in 15 minutes, and would form protective barriers between players and the dealer. Sneeze and scream all you want; airborne spray has now met its match.
At the onset of the outbreak, Vegas casinos had already begun taking steps to curb the virus, including sending casino chips out for sanitation. But that only dealt with surface-borne germs, not the spray from sneezing and coughing.
Now that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is negotiating casino reopening times, casinos are preparing.
A Trial Run
El Cortez casino in Downtown Las Vegas is the first casino to order a trial run of the new safety shields. Screaming Images offered to install them for the free publicity they’ll get from it. The firm has been around for 18 years, offering services to a wide range of businesses. Primarily dealing in print and design services for resorts, it wasn’t much of a leap to go from plastic building wraps to acrylic safety shields.
Screaming Images owner James Swanson came up with a fast, easy-to-install safety solution for tight quarters – like casino card tables. The acrylic shields can be easily installed without screws to keep tables intact while decreasing the installation time.
El Cortez general manager Adam Wiesberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal how the sneezeguard plan came to be. When James Swanson approached the El Cortez manager with the idea, Wiesberg agreed to a trial run, saying that “any new idea that could potentially work to protect employees and customers we’re willing to take a look at. So letting him use our tables and slot floor to create, design and develop this new technology, we welcomed it.”
Standing on brass poles placed between seats at a card table, the safety shields look a bit like teleprompters used by politicians. They’re not very elegant, but in the age of killer viruses, they are certainly nothing to sneeze at.
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