Face shields may be easier to clean than cloth masks and could be more comfortable, but they are likely not sufficient because the coronavirus spreads through microscopic respiratory droplets that can easily get around the open sides, Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, an internal medicine physician in San Francisco, said.
“We know this virus spreads through little tiny particles, and with having the sides and the bottom of a face shield open, that can be problematic,” she said.
Ungerleider said shields may add a certain amount of extra protection, but people should prioritize wearing masks.
“The fact that they cover the eyes is thought to be protective, but it’s not enough,” she said. “The takeaway is that you should always, always wear a mask, but if you happen to have a face shield, you need to wear it with your mask.”
“It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles,” the agency says. “CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for masks.”
In addition to wearing masks, the CDC continues to recommend maintaining social distance of at least six feet with other people, washing hands often and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.