Plexiglass Barriers at the 2020 VP Debate

On August 11th, the Commission on Presidential Debates finalized the location of the Vice Presidential debate. The debate was officially announced to take place at Salt Lake City’s historical Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah’s campus.

Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, Delvie’s Plastics has worked closely with the University of Utah to supply the 36,000+ student and faculty population with the acrylic materials needed to keep the campus safe during the pandemic. Early on, this took the form of PPE face shields, which were created from our .030 acrylic. Soon after, as demand increased for physical barriers, we supplied the University with ¼” Clear Plexiglass for the creation of the vital barriers.

Fast Forward to October 4th. The Debate is now 3 days away, and the need for PPE, in the form of Acrylic Barriers, has taken center stage. With the vital need to keep all those participating in the debate safe, the University of Utah, along with the Commission on Presidential Debates, formally requested that plexiglass barriers be installed between each candidate's debate table.

In a scramble, Delvie’s Plastics was asked to quickly create these barriers. With nearly 6 months of experience with creating these stand-alone barriers, Delvie’s was commissioned, and quickly created two 1/2" thick, 64" by 48" barriers to help separate each candidate during the event.

Fully Installed Delvie's Plastics Barriers at Kingsbury Hall

Here's a look into the production of the barriers you'll see on the debate stage:

Typically barriers are created with 1/4" thick acrylic. However, since aesthetics were extremely important for TV coverage, 1/2" material was used. This creates a very nice "furniture" appearance, but is unconventional due to the weight, and cost.

Delvie’s Plastics will continue to create barriers for those who regard them as necessary for their businesses, customers, classrooms, and more. We're committed to helping our community, and the country, feel more at ease by taking active steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Interested in purchasing a barrier? 

For all custom barriers, we first start with the most important question: 

  • Size: what size barrier is needed to protect the person standing, or sitting, on either side. The goal is to block any particulates, so size is an extremely important first step.
  • Mobility: is this a temporary, or permanent solution? In this case, the barriers are only temporarily on the debate stage, so we created 3 'feet' per barrier, to ensure stability.
  • Thickness: barriers usually come in 2 thicknesses, 3/16" and 1/4". The difference is negligible, but oftentimes thicker acrylic has a more sturdy feel.
  • Color: in most cases, barriers are placed in between people who are directly interacting, so crystal clear is the best choice. However, sometimes these barriers can double as a 'privacy shield', in which case our Frosted Acrylic is an excellent choice. 

Once these questions are answered, we get to work using our extremely precise laser cutter, which cuts the acrylic into the exact sizes needed, while also giving the edges a beautiful polish. 

Once cut, we test and inspect each barrier in order to ensure perfect stability. All barriers are cut with our high-quality paper masking attached. Once the barrier arrives, all you have to do is peel the paper masking, attach the feet, and you're good to go!

You can find our standard barriers here, or contact us at for more custom barriers! 

Back to Blog Home