Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness

ByJeff Ehling KTRK logo
Friday, July 3, 2020
Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness
Hear from one doctor who recommends face shields due to these key benefits.

There are a lot of people who say they do not want to wear a face mask because they are too hot, and with summer here, it's only going to get worse.

However, there is an alternative some are trying: The face shield. Is it a better option?

Like any debate, there are different answers to the question.

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Face shields can prevent droplets from getting onto your face, they keep you from touching your face and they do not get as hot as face masks.

For those who wear glasses, face shields do not fog them up like a mask will.

But do they offer as much protection as a face mask?

Most mask orders in place require you to cover your nose and mouth with a cloth.

Some users claim face shields are just as good at keeping you safe as the cloth alternative.

"I think face shields are a great option. One great advantage this time of year is that they aren't as hot as a face mask is," Dr. Michael Edmond, Professor of Infectious Diseases at University of Iowa, said. "For most people, it feels easier to breathe when you have on a face shield. You don't get the fogging that you get with a mask if you're a person like me who wears glasses, and they're easy to clean."

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were asked if shields are as good as masks.

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"I don't think we have data yet that a shield is better or worse," Dr. Anne Schucat with the CDC said. "We are recommending for the consumer, we are saying the cloth face mask is what we are recommending."

CDC says cloth face masks are cheap, you can make them yourself, you do not have to buy them and they are easy to clean.

Doctors who treat COVID-19 patients have been seen wearing face shields, but they are in a high risk environment.

CDC officials say that's not the same as what the general public will encounter.

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