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How to choose a face shield for travel, according to doctors

Time:2022-08-25 Views:196
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Planning a long-awaited vacation in 2021? As vaccinations roll out in the United States and beyond, doctors have made it clear that a return to normalcy will be slow and continue to require precautions.      

The CDC released new guidelines on Tuesday saying that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask outside unless they are in a large crowd. Vaccinated individuals also do not need to mask up at small outdoor gatherings regardless members of the group‘s vaccination status. The agency still strongly recommends wearing face masks outdoors for the non-vaccinated, and coverings are required for all at many indoor public places and when traveling.

Travel that involves planes, trains, or other vessels where people are contained within will demand the continued use of masks in the U.S., per a presidential executive order. However, “many viruses infect by entering mucus membranes,” like the eyes, says Shira Doron, hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “Therefore, the combination of a mask and eye protection are best to avoid getting the virus.” Even vaccinated individuals may worry about breakthrough cases, or those rare instances of COVID-19 that occur post-vaccine, and want to add extra protection, like a face shield.

What are face shields and what protection do they offer from COVID-19?

The recommendation for eye protection in crowded environments has led to a boom in the use of face shields for travel. But what kind of face shields are best?

Experts say coverage and material are the most important factors to consider. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that face shields “should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face.”

While some shields may be reusable, any face shield the wearer plans to reuse should not have any porous surfaces, like foam or fabric intended to cushion the face, says Tufts Medical Center’s Doron. In choosing a full face shield, she says: “The first thing I look at is whether every single element of the product is wipeable. It has to have no foam or soft or porous surfaces. If it does, then it must be discarded as soon as you take it off.”

If you want to protect your eyes from COVID-19 on the plane, here are some options that fit those requirements, in several styles to suit your preferences.

adult face shield

  face shield