Which is best? A face mask or a face shield?
The novel coronavirus (aka, COVID-19) has brought about many fears, uncertainties, and unanswered questions.
As a result, false information is spreading almost as quickly as the virus. We thought we’d help set the record straight.
Why do I need a mask or a face shield?
First and foremost, many people have been infected and don’t even know it. They can be unwitting carriers of the virus. For that reason, face masks have a dual purpose: to provide some protection from infection and to provide protection from your unknowingly being a carrier of the virus.
Do face shields work?
The purpose of a face shield is to provide an impermeable barrier between the user and airborne COVID-19 particles, as well as prevent others from becoming infected by the user. We recommend wearing a cloth face mask in combination with your face shield for the utmost protection.
Are face shields reusable?
Many face shields are made to be reusable (with the proper washing techniques). Some face shields are single-use shields. A reusable shield is typically a little thicker than a single-use shield, and you must take great care when washing it.
How do you wash a face shield?
Many face shields can be washed by hand. Because of the rigid nature but thin sheeting, they are not meant to be put into a washing machine or dishwasher.
To wash your face shield, you should do so as if the shield has some level of contamination. You will need to follow these steps:
- Put on rubber gloves.
- Remove the detachable shield from the apparatus. Shields are typically attached to a headband or cap using a strip of velcro.
- Thoroughly wipe the inside of the shield first with either a sanitizer wipe or a clean cloth soaked in a neutral detergent (preferably one that contains bleach).
- Repeat step two to clean the outside of the shield.
- Go over the outside of the mask again with alcohol or clean water to remove any residue.
- Use a clean towel to soak up excess water or let the shield air dry.
- Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?
Due to the way COVID-19 is spreading, face shields should be worn in combination with cloth face masks. They are not a replacement for masks or other preventative measures such as social distancing and hand washing.
Face shields are to be used as additional protection. If your employees are already behind a transparent protective barrier (like some grocery stores have implemented) and you want your customers to see the faces of your employees, then a face shield without a mask would be acceptable, but not as protective.
If you have any further questions regarding PPE, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you and look forward to helping you combat this pandemic.