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Face Masks and Face Shields: What’s the Difference?

Face Masks and Face Shields: What’s the Difference?

Aug 20, 2020

Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by following information from your local officials and by visiting the CDC website.

If you’ve been out in public, you’ve probably seen a lot of people wearing cloth face masks, but on the news, you’ve likely seen doctors wearing clear, plastic face shields over their surgical face masks . While there isn’t enough evidence to currently say whether one is more effective than the other, we do know more about cloth face coverings and their ability to stop the spread of COVID-19. Check out some considerations for both.

Face Masks or Face Shields Infographic

While experts have argued that shields alone may not offer as much protection as masks, research shows that they can be beneficial if someone can’t wear a mask. The CDC, for example, does not recommend using face shields as an alternative to cloth face coverings. Still, they do recognize that face shields can serve as a substitute for people who can not feasibly wear a mask, either because they are deaf or hard of hearing or because they interact with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Looking for more COVID-19 resources? Check out our hub for the latest information or schedule a virtual visit with your CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network primary care physician.

Click 2 Houston | Back 2 School: Face shields vs. masks in the classroom
AARP | Some Experts Say Face Shields Better Than Masks for Coronavirus Protection
CDC | Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
CDC | Considerations for Wearing Masks