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Face shields not recommended as only facial covering

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Face shields have been distributed to school districts across the country, but there is very little research on their effectiveness at stopping COVID-19.

“The CDC has said they do not recommend a face shield for children or adults alone as a primary coronavirus prevention technique,” says UAB Dr. Ellen Eaton.

Face shields, however, are permitted under the current Safer at Home mask ordinance in Alabama.

“The message should still be that the face covering, a cloth face covering, is superior,” said Dr. Eaton.

Still, there are needs for facial coverings to be transparent, particularly in an educational setting.

“What I have told teachers and students is really that if it is absolutely necessary that the face and the mouth is visible, look into some of the masks that have a clear insert,” said Dr. Eaton.

Example: Nick Saban was wearing one yesterday at practice.

She says clear inserts can also help young students learning to read, or the hearing impaired.

But masks of any kind are not enough.

“Facial coverings are just one of the tools in our infection prevention toolkit,” she said.

If a shield is the only option, she advises using plenty of extra distance between you and others.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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