MONTREAL -- As retail stores in Montreal reopen on Monday, many businesses are buying plexiglass dividers to better protect clients and staff against COVID-19.

Workers at the PolyAlto plastics shop in Ville Saint-Laurent have had their hands full since the Quebec government declared a public health emergency in March. 

“People started to notice that, ‘oh it’s real, we’re going to get it too,” branch manager Daniel Lejour told CTV News.”The first order we got was for the grocery stores. They wanted to protect themselves. And it was all of a sudden, all the groceries stores needed the acrylic shields.” 

Now, virtually every business is trying to get their hands on the equipment. 

Overnight, 90 per cent of workers were being moved to produce acrylic partitions and face shields, and in just two weeks, the company went through two years worth of inventory. 

They’ve since had to limit certain orders. 

“We couldn’t keep up with just the regular supplier,” said Lejour. “Even them, they’re out of stock so we went everywhere, all around the world to get material.”

One of their clients, Katia Choucair, owner of Royal LePage Altitude, is preparing to gradually reopen her real estate business to the public. 

“It’s been crazy because we had to readapt very quickly,” said Choucair. 

It costs thousands of dollars to install plexiglass partitions at two locations, but she figured she’d be in it for the long haul. 

“It was like a no-brainer for me,” said Choucair. “I had to do it, I wanted to do it, and I feel more comfortable towards my brokers, towards my clients.” 

Without a reopening date in sight for gyms and sit-down restaurants, plastics companies can expect to be busy at least until the end of the year.