Doctor: Face shield doesn't take place of mask for protection

Benita Zahn & WNYT Staff
Created: July 28, 2020 07:27 PM

With the push to wear face masks to slow the spread of COVID, some people are instead opting for face shields.
That prompted a viewer to ask what's more effective.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Arthur Gran at St. Peter's Health Partners gave NewsChannel 13’s Benita Zahn the answer.


As he explains, while the shield protects you from a face full of germs, if someone coughs or sneezes on you, the protection doesn't last. That's because of how the virus acts in the air.

"You have viral particles that are circulating throughout the air in droplets, that once they're in the room, and they're just moving around the room, that mask, that face shield loses its efficacy. So generally, face shields alone are not considered appropriate for preventing spread of viral illnesses during the time of patient care. For example, doctors are expected to wear both masks and face shields," said Dr. Gran.

Bottom line, a face shield does not take the place of a mask for protection.

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