Do Face Shields Protect Against Covid-19?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of people have become innovative in devising means to protect themselves. Before the virus, the prevalent face masks were surgical masks, however, recently people have come up with cloth masks as well as face shields as a form of protection from the virus.

The usage of these alternative materials for protection is on the increase, and the question is: How effective are other forms of masks apart from surgical masks? 

The Difference Between Face Shields and Face Masks PLUS the Benefits of Face Shields by
Disc Makers

What is a plastic face shield?

You must have come across face shields on people as you go about your daily activities.

A face shield in the simplest of terms is a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) item that is worn to protect the wearer’s face from hazardous substances.

In the context of the global pandemic, a face shield is worn to protect a person from the virus. Some face shields come with plastic headbands while some come in plastic handles. Face shields are made in such a way that you can see clearly through them and breathe easily through them. They are transparent, comfortable, and lightweight.

Is a plastic face shield effective?

Plastic face shields are not directly effective against preventing the spread of coronavirus as the virus spread through respiratory droplets which come out of the mouth and nose in the course of talking, sneezing, and coughing, among other things.

When a shield is worn, there is still a huge space between it and the mouth and nose through which droplets can pass through. The purpose of wearing masks and other similar items is to shield your mouth and nose from such droplets. 

Some theories have arisen to suggest that the virus could also be spread through the eyes, and that is where face shields come in. Face shields help to protect the eyes from respiratory droplets and therefore, face shields can be used in that sense, especially in the F&B industry but also for laboratory usages.

There are a lot of uncertainties revolving around the virus, but to be on the safer side, combining a face shield and a surgical mask comes in handy.

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Is a plastic face shield good for everyday use?

A plastic face shield is good for everyday use as long as it maintains its shape and durability.

Ensure you wash and disinfect your face shield after each day of using it. This helps to keep it clean and infection-free and it effectively serves the purpose of protecting you from infection. 

Can I use a face shield instead of a face mask?

The protection against the virus is not guaranteed with the use of a face shield and while this period has brought about a lot of uncertainties, one certain thing is you cannot protect yourself too much from the virus. You owe yourself the duty of extra protection.

“Making use of a face mask and a face shield is the best option. Face shields are not alternatives to face masks they are complementary. They offer extra protection against the virus.” Said Ms. Chiu, from The Kare Lab.

It is also important to note that wearing face shields and face masks do not negate the fact that other health measures (like social distancing and washing of the hands) should be observed.

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How to wear a face shield the right way

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 era is an era everyone is gradually adjusting to.

Two years ago, masks were not items that you would find everyone wearing except doctors in theatres or some other professionals who need to wear them. Currently, everyone has to put on a mask, a face shield, or both. You might not be used to a face shield and that means you might not wear it the right way.

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Before wearing your face shield the right way, it is important to get one that is comfortable and fits the shape of your face. The face shield’s clear plastic should extend across the face of the wearer to both ears, and down well below the chin. 

Also, there should be no space between the forehead and the headpiece.