Shield developed by local company to protect workers

Mike McGowen, owner of GK Soundbooth, displays his new Deskshield for businesses to place around workers’ desks.

Lakeview based GK Soundbooth Inc. has developed a new product to help offices and co-working spaces reopen for employees to work at the office safely during COVID, with its new Deskshield.

The Deskshield was developed from a new product that GK Soundbooth said was almost complete before the pandemic hit. According to Mike McGowen, owner of GK Soundbooth, they were working on a new product for hardcore gamers and their followers. This would act as a sound dampener, and a backdrop that can be customized. He rented space in the incubator building in the Lake County Industrial Park, and hired more people to design and to start building them. As they were working on the product, the pandemic hit. Wishing to help businesses that are looking at ways to bring in employees safely and in co-working spaces, McGowen and his team shifted their strategy.Using the same basic principle have designed a shield that can be placed around desks and provide additional protection for workers and visitors.

“This is easier to clean than cubicles and more hygienic. It can be cleaned and sanitized easily,” said McGowen.

Unlike cubicles and other walls, the main structure of the Deskshield is made from medical grade hard plastic, that is protected in the manufacturing process from contamination. The product is easy to clean and sanitize on a daily basis, compared to walls in many cubicles that are covered in fabric. The shield material is anti-microbial as well which helps keep the material safe and germfree.

“This product is perfect for open plan office spaces, co-working spaces such as WeWork, and shared offices,” said McGowen.

He also envisions public places such as libraries, whether public libraries or college libraries, using them at desks, computers and other locations. He donated a couple to the Lake County Library, and the Library has purchased more to be used at its other branches. The University of Oregon library system has also expressed interest in purchasing the shields to be used around public computers and other open locations, as another level of protection from COVID. However, the University of Oregon libraries are currently closed with no estimate for when they will reopen.

The entire structure is lightweight, using a combination of wood and plastic, weighing about 10 pounds at the most. The tops and sides are made out of wood, which is then painted white, a neutral color so it is easy to see when it gets dirty. After all the wood has been painted, the shield is then attached and it is enclosed in plastic to keep it free of the virus. Then it is shipped directly to the business or office via FedEx; six of these shields can fit into a FedEx box.

“This is a cost effective way for businesses to think about the health and safety of their employees,” said McGowen.

For more information or to order a Deskshield call 541-947-2602.

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