Frequently Asked Questions
Since starting the Protect Covid Staff initiative, we've been keeping track of all the questions coming our way. Realizing that time is of the essence, we've categorized questions for your browsing convenience:
What products are available?
There are two containment devices available, Aerosol Barrier & Drapes and Aerosol Boxes. Each device provides an added barrier of defense for staff conducting procedures with a high risk of Covid-19 aerosol/droplet dispersion. Each product is a different form factor and hospitals and first responders should determine which best suits their needs.
Additionally, we are continuously exploring additional innovative protective barriers to protect clinicians, seeking products that highly regarded medical institutions have evaluated. We have provided a look at some of these innovations here. Once more broadly vetted by doctors or medical institutions/journals, we will source US manufacturers of these new solutions; and then provide product information and direct manufacturing sources to the website.
What are barriers and boxes made out of?
Durable, hard clear plastic, including polycarbonate, plexiglass and acrylic. Material varies by manufacturer.
How many times can barriers or boxes be used?
This is dependent on how they are used in practice, however they are designed to be disinfected and reused multiple times. Manufacturers have reported to us that if the product is disinfected, and then wiped with 70% or higher isopropyl alcohol and allowed to dry, the surface will remain clear, or become clear again. Note, if stacking these products, place cloth or cardboard between products to prevent the plastic from being scratched.
What are the dimensions of the Barriers and Boxes?
Basic specs and sample custom enhancements can be found on our website here.
Are they stackable?
This will vary by manufacturer though generally Aerosol Barriers are stackable. It’s recommended to put a piece of cardboard or soft cloth between them to prevent scratching. Aerosol Boxes that can be disassembled can be taken apart and stacked as individual flat pieces (with cloth/cardboard between pieces). If the Box is constructed with epoxy or glue to hold the seams together, then they are not easily stackable. Please check with the manufacturer you select.
Who designed Aerosol Barrier & Drapes?
Dr. Douglas Ririe from Wake Forest University School of Medicine posted several videos to YouTube showing his version an Aerosol Shield and how best to use it along with a medical grade clear drape. Dr Ririe was looking for a more portable barrier that allows maneuverability for the clinician and higher accessibility to the patient. We provide access to these videos on our website.
Are these the same Aerosol Boxes that Dr. Lai from Taiwan created?
Dr. Lai developed the original box and made it available as open source. It has been enhanced since to provide extra protection and increase its size and accessibility. The manufacturers on this website will make their standard Aerosol Box, however many of them are able to make customized versions. We also show various customizations that have been made on the Aerosol Box.
What is the draping material that should be used?
An Aerosol Barrier is used with a clear medical grade drape or equivalent, and Aerosol Boxes are frequently coupled with a drape as well. Hospitals are using the clear surgical drape which is generally available in stock, or can be easily ordered directly from their medical suppliers. There is a video on the Aerosol Barrier & Drape product page showing how to set up the barrier and drape. Note, drape is not included with either Barrier or Box.
How much do the reusable Aerosol Barrier & Drapes and Boxes cost?
Prices will vary slightly by manufacturer and the changing cost of raw materials (acrylic/plexiglass). We observe a range currently between $95 - $150/each plus shipping and handling (S&H varies based on quantity and shipping location). By buying directly from the manufacturer there are no middlemen and therefore no markups, price-gouging or competitive price bidding. Note: while the size of the Barrier is smaller, the sturdy one-piece design requires heating and hand bending the material, taking more labor hours to manufacture vs. the Box, thus, why there’s similar pricing for both products.
Is there a minimum order?
Generally, 2-5 units based on the manufacturer; however they have made exceptions.
Are Aerosol Barrier & Drapes and Boxes available now?
Yes, our manufacturers generally have products in stock or can produce orders quickly, and are ready to ship. Please contact them directly.
How soon can I get them?
Typically, 2-4 days after ordering depending on order size and shipping option selected. Overnight shipping is available for most locations.
Can I get customized Barrier & Drapes and Boxes?
Yes, most of the manufacturers will make you a customized version; note that it may add to cost and delivery time.
Can Aerosol Barrier & Drapes and Boxes be sent outside of the United States?
Yes, they can be shipped to Canada and Mexico. Plan on additional time for shipping and clearing customs; international shipping rates may apply.
Have these Aerosol Barrier & Drapes and Boxes been Evaluated by US doctors and hospitals?
Yes, see immediately below:
Both Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the Boston Medical Center have evaluated Aerosol Boxes; resulting videos can be found on the Aerosol Box Product page on this website.
New England Journal of Medicine article on the Aerosol Box states: “…the barrier provided...additional protection and could be considered to be an adjunct to standard PPE.” The New England Journal of Medicine article is on the Aerosol Box Product page on the website.
Dr. Douglas Ririe, MD, PhD, MHA, Professor of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem NC, evaluates an Aerosol Barrier & Drape and shows how to set up and use this additional Covid barrier.
How many hospitals are using them now?
Aerosol Boxes have been shipped to over 100 hospitals in the US, yielding over 1,000 Boxes on the frontlines. However, this number is changing daily. The Aerosol Barrier & Drapes is the newest iteration of the Aerosol Box concept, and has just started shipping through the manufacturers listed on this website.
Is there standardized testing for the boxes?
Not at this time.
Are these FDA approved?
To the best of our knowledge the FDA has not spoken on this.
Who can make Aerosol Barrier & Drapes and Aerosol Boxes?
The specs are available on our website, so that along with the manufacturers listed on the website, other small or large manufacturers and DIY makers can produce the shields and boxes.
Protect Covid Staff
What is Protect Covid Staff?
Protect Covid Staff is a 100% non-profit organization which was started to close the gaps between hospitals and the manufacturers of innovative protective equipment in order to help save the lives of our COVID-19 medical heroes. Protect Covid Staff does not sell any products – our mission is finding new protective solutions that well-regarded American hospitals are using and sharing with the public; and then sourcing US based manufacturers who will make and sell these products directly to hospitals at a fair price. Please note that we have no commercial interest in these manufacturers. Transactions and any liabilities/suitability for use are solely between the hospitals and the manufacturers. For full disclaimer read more here.
Who is behind Protect Covid Staff?
A team of volunteer business leaders from consulting, business, manufacturing and non-profits who came together to support this 100% non-profit mission to help protect the health, and save the lives, of our medical heroes.
Do they have any commercial interest?
No. This is an all-volunteer group with zero commercial interest. To date, we have not raised donations; though in a few instances we have paid for Aerosol Boxes and/or Aerosol Shields out of our own pockets as a donation.
Are you medical professionals and do you test the products you recommend?
We are not medical professionals yet have physicians sharing their opinions with us on an ongoing basis. We do not test or evaluate the products ourselves. We rely on clinical feedback, and publicly available evaluations from well regarded medical institutions which we share on our website. Each hospital or first responder organization must make their own evaluation to determine which of these products are right for their own situation.