The pandemic may mean the end of the open-floor office

Taller plastic barriers that extend over desks have long been in use at an office run by one of the country’s top infectious disease experts, Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at the University of California, Irvine. The barriers “weren’t designed for coronavirus,” Dr. Huang said, but, rather, to maintain a sense of collaboration while cutting down noise. Now, the barriers may have an added benefit of creating some biological isolation. But Dr. Huang said that safety in the workplace would require more than plastic shields.