Some are finding a plastic face shield more comfortable to wear than a disposable face mask, but will it keep you safe? Quick answer is No, a face shield does not provide full protection like a surgical face mask does.
Face Masks remain at the core of the CDC's recommendations for protecting you and your family against airborne viruses. A plastic face shield is not an adequate protection for COVID-19 when used all by its self being the air can easily come in around the mask and be inhaled. Wearing a face mask certainly does provide the needed protection against the coronavirus, but for maximum protection you can wear a face shield as well a surgical disposable mask to protection your eyes against any splashing or liquid droplets, this is optimal in a surgery or medical application. So remember a face shield may be a little more comfortable than a disposable 3ply mask but it certainly doesn't provide as much protection as a mask will. You are wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to keep safe and if it's not fully protection you than it is defeating the purpose.
According to a medical professional at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine a plastic face shield can reduce the risk of contracting the virus. "Face shields are excellent at preventing droplets from coming in contact with the nose, mouth, and eyes, which are the body sites that the virus enters to establish infection" Dr. Michael Edmond reports. Also reported is that a plastic face shield works best when the wearer is also wearing a disposable face mask. A study has also found when using visualizations to examine and illustrate how effective plastic face shields are that they do block the initial forward motion of a simulated cough or a sneeze but expelled droplets where still able to move around the visor and spread out over a large area.
The bottom line is the more steps we take to protect ourselves against this virus the better, you can never be to careful. Face Coverings like a disposable 3ply mask, regular hand washing, physical or social distancing, and staying home as much as possible are all tools that can be used to protect yourself.
So if you do decide to wear a face shield next time going out here are a few steps to remember:
- Always wear a disposable face mask when wearing a face shield
- Make sure your face shield is snug and fits properly
- Disinfect and clean your face shield after each use
- Store in a clean spot
Thank you for reading and remember to take the necessary precautions at all times to protect you and your loved ones. Buy purchasing face masks that are American made you are also supporting our local economy and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the USA!