The past few months have seen an increased emphasis on personal hygiene, not just in the USA but across the world. The covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe from the early part of the year, bringing entire countries to their knees as tens of thousands of people rapidly became infected with the deadly virus. With no vaccine available for an unknown strain of coronavirus, the onus was on individuals, businesses and other organisations to do what they could to stem the spread of the virus.
Not only were we told to ramp up our approach to cleanliness – in the early days it remained unknown how the virus spread – but businesses were forced to close, travel was restricted, and cities were put on lockdown. However, the one industry that could not afford to relax in the face of covid-19 has been the health industry. In every country health service providers have been hit hard, are overworked and are doing all they can to keep things underway.
Where do privacy curtains come into this? These mundane and everyday hospital and clinic furnishings have played a surprising part in helping keep the virus under control. Let’s have a look at how they do it and what can be done to make them even more useful in this and future situations.
What are Privacy Curtains?
If you have stayed in or visited a hospital or undergone a medical or cosmetic procedure in a clinic, you will have seen privacy curtains. They are the curtains hanging on rails that go around the bed to give the patient some privacy. They may be made from fabric or – more usually – from some form of plastic material that is easily washable when needed. The purpose of the curtains is not just for privacy, however, but also to limit the numbers of people who can be in that restricted area at one time.
If you go to a leading supplier of equipment such as these curtains AmericanTrackSupply.com you will see that there are many different options in terms of hanging methods, styles, sizes and materials, and also that they are not expensive and are easy to use. This is why many people who have been self-isolating have put up such curtains in the rooms where they are staying. Do the curtains help keep the virus at bay? There’s some controversy about this, so let’s get to the truth.
How Privacy Curtains Help Stop the Spread of Diseases
The controversy surrounding privacy curtains emerged from a series of articles claiming that they harbour bacteria and may in fact make the covid-19 situation worse. Is this true? It is in fact true of any form of furnishing in any situation, but only if allowed to happen. For example, a hospital or clinic has privacy curtains that will be changed and washed regularly. Just as you vacuum regularly at home and occasionally wash your soft furnishings, so they do the same in medical facilities.
Indeed, the level of cleaning and hygiene that has been applied to hospitals and surgeries throughout the pandemic – in all countries that have been affected – has been raised to such a degree that they may never have been so clean. This can only be of benefit to those who wish to use privacy curtains as a method of shielding against the spread of the virus. There are certain reasons why privacy curtains may help stop the spread of this virus – and indeed of many other viruses and bacteria – so here’s a brief explanation.
A curtain forms a solid barrier – especially medical-grade privacy curtains as we are describing here – so will stop any germs or bacteria passing through via the air. It is the same as shutting a door or window. The curtain also keeps people out who are not needed in the treatment or examination area, and acts as a warning or sign that the area is currently restricted. It is also washable, replaceable and easy to remove, so does not have to be a permanent feature. This is why these curtains are used in general medical situations, and not just in extreme conditions as we are experiencing right now.
Privacy curtains do play a part in keeping the virus and other diseases at bay and need to be washed properly and regularly as do any other medical fitments. Now that we know what they are used for and how effective privacy curtains can be in helping stop the spread of viruses, germs and bacteria, let’s look at what choices you have in terms of style, sizes and suitability, and what to do aside from hanging curtains to keep things clean and healthy.
Styles of Privacy Curtains
The usual style of privacy curtains found in medical establishments is either a heavy plastic design in a solid colour, or sometimes a fabric material. The latter is perhaps best overlooked in place of the easy to clean and highly protective plastic design, which is the most useful in this situation. Not designed to be attractive but to do the job and be practical, you won’t choose privacy curtains for looks but for ease of use and suitability.
Hanging from a rail, these curtains use smooth runners with bearings to open and close as quietly as possible and can be bought with rails that surround the entire bed or for beds against a wall or in a cubicle, one or two open sides. If you’re looking to equip a ward with privacy curtains or even a single room, we recommend you talk to the people at American Track Supply for, being the experts in this field, they will be able to advise you as to the best model of track, fittings and privacy curtains for your requirements.
Despite claims to the contrary, if kept clean and used correctly there is no doubt that privacy curtains do help keep viruses and bacteria at bay and stem the spread, and we can be thankful for their widespread use in the midst of the current crisis.