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Using Face Shields and Goggles for COVID-19 Prevention

While many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unknown, we do know that the infection is likely spread via respiratory droplets. The CDC says that while the nose and mouth are the main avenues by which someone catches COVID-19, "it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes."

In a recently published review in The Lancet, researchers concluded that while no protection is foolproof, the below measures were effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus:

  • Virus transmission was lower with physical distancing of one meter or more and protection was increased with additional distance.
  • Face mask use could result in a large reduction in the risk of infection. N95 or similar respirators provide more protection compared with disposable surgical masks.
  • Eye protection (i.e. goggles and face shields) are also associated with less infection.


OSHA recommends goggles for eye protection because they form a protective seal around the eyes, thus preventing droplets from entering. This type of eye protection, when paired with face masks and physical distancing, could provide additional protection against COVID-19 for those in high-risk categories.

Face Shields

Face shields provide a clear plastic barrier that cover the entire face. For optimal protection, the shield should extend below the chin and to the ears. There should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece (Source).

Face shields are beneficial because they:

  • Protect the virus from entering the body through the nose, eyes, and mouth.
  • Prevent the wearer from touching their face.
  • Can be reused.
  • Can be easily cleaned with soap and water or common household disinfectants.
  • Allow visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.
  • Are comfortable to wear.

For more information on the proper way to use PPE, including how to put it on (don) and take it off (doff), click here.

Click here to shop MacGill’s selection of masks, goggles, and face shields.

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