Should You Be Wearing Gloves in Public Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Many citizens have been wondering if they should be wearing gloves in public, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the experts are now weighing in. According to USA Today, CDC spokeswoman Kate Grusich issued a statement on the matter, explaining that the department discourages citizens from using gloves in public, as this could actually spread coronavirus more. "CDC doesn’t recommend the general public use gloves," she wrote. "Gloves can be a source of contamination, even for the wearer, if not properly removed."

Grusich added, "COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets that can land on surfaces. If the wearer touches a variety of surfaces during the day while wearing the same pair of gloves, contamination can definitely be transmitted from one surface to another." While the CDC does not advise citizens to wear gloves in public, they do strongly recommend "wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."

In a previous statement, the department added, "CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance."

Additionally, "The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance." The CDC also suggests that face masks "should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use." They also state that "a washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering." The CDC adds, "Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing."