We have all heard by now that you should wear masks when in public to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, but what about face shields? Some people have resorted to these shields as a more comfortable alternative to use during the day, especially at work, but are they effective? Yet another study concluded that you should avoid face shields, unless you add a specific element to them.
The idea behind wearing a face mask is simple: when you speak, breathe, sneeze, yawn and cough, you are producing small invisible droplets of fluid that can contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If another person inhales these particles, they are at risk of developing COVID-19 – and even if they can recover without problems, they can pass it on to someone else who doesn’t handle it so well.
It is quite obvious, then, that a facial covering must be able to slow down and sufficiently block these drops, reducing the amount in the air and the distance they travel. Recent studies have shown that well-fitting masks are better at reducing drops than poorly-fitting masks and, likewise, have questioned the usefulness of face shields.
Highlighting the latest guidance from the CDC, a new demonstration from the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University shows what you would expect from a face shield: the droplets are blocked in their forward movement, instead of spreading and spreading. disperse on the sides of the shield.
In addition, the study showed that N95 masks with valves, which facilitate expiration, are even less effective in reducing the movement of advancing drops. To change this, the study highlights that one should use a mask that does not have a valve or, in the case of facial protectors, use a mask underneath.