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Face shields can help reduce the spread of COVID-19

According to Dr. Michael B. Edmond, MPH, MPA, MBA, chief quality officer and associate chief medical officer for University of Iowa Health Care, and clinical professor of infectious diseases at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, plastic face shields can reduce the risk of contracting the virus.


Plastic face shields do provide a barrier of protection, Wearing them along with a face mask is recommended as the best way to protect yourself.


Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to make face masks one of its primary recommendations for preventing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — some people are turning to plastic face shields for protection as they can be more comfortable.

Face shields are a good supplement to face coverings, but should not be used in their place.

“There’s no such thing as too many weapons against the novel coronavirus,” said Henningsen. “The more protection, the better.”

“Face coverings, regular hand washing, physical distancing, and staying home as much as possible are very good tools. Add a face shield to all of those requisite practices and you go from ‘good’ to ‘great,'” she said.

1. Always wear a face shield with a mask

Henningsen explained that face shields give the most benefit when you wear them along with a face mask.

Adding a face shield is the icing on the cake and confers protection to you, the wearer,” she added. 

2. Clean and disinfect your face shield after each use

The CDCTrusted Source suggests referring to the manufacturer’s instructions, if available.

If there are no instructions available, they suggest cleaning with a neutral detergent and warm water to remove any visible soiling, followed by a clean water rinse.

They then recommend disinfecting the face shield, preferably with a chlorine-based solution. Alcohol can damage plastic and glues over time. In addition, it may remove any antiglare or antifogging properties.

Rinse again with clean water to remove any residue.

Air dry or use clean paper towels to remove any moisture.


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