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Do You Really Need A Face Shield? Here's What Experts Think

Before you worry about getting one, here's what you need to know.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) said that COVID-19 can be spread "through direct, indirect (through contaminated objects or surfaces), or close contact with infected people via mouth and nose secretions. These include saliva, respiratory secretions, or secretion droplets." This is why we are all required to wear protective face masks whenever we got out or be in contact with someone outside of our household.

On July 31, the government recommended that face shields be a part of minimum health standards. With the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and the thought of face shields being more expensive than a cloth face mask, we all have this question in our heads: "Do we really need a face shield?"

reportr shared that Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez said face shields will be "encouraged" in barangays placed under localized enhance community quarantine. "Ito yung isa pang kino-consider ng IATF na i-encourage na rin ang ating mga kababayan as an extra step para po lumakas ang prevention, and maiwasan ang transmission."

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"Hindi pa ho yan nire-require ngayon but in the future baka i-require na natin kung kailanganin pa natin mag-extra protection," he added.

CNN reported top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci's interview with ABC News that explains the need for face shields for added protection. Here's what he said:

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"If you really want perfect protection of your mucosal surfaces...you have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye. Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it. It's not universally recommended. But if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it, if you can."

This statement was understood as everyone should start wearing face shields, which he further clarified in another interview.

"I was talking to a group of teachers in a fireside chat and one of the teachers asked, 'Can the virus enter through the eye?'"

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"And my response was, 'Well certainly if you have an eye shield and you'd like to wear it, it could help because the virus could enter through the eye.' That's not a recommendation that everybody should be wearing an eye shield," he explained.

CNN spoke to Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, for expert advice regarding face shields. He explains that it is for people who are in environments where physical distancing is difficult to observe (for example: wet markets and other high-traffic establishments) and also in places where it could be contaminated (hospitals).

But if you can practice safe distance from others, you may skip a face shield.  He explained that our eyes already have built-in protection which are our eyelids and our blinking reflex. What we must always do are the following: wear a protective face mask, sanitize surfaces we may touch, and frequently wash our hands.

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