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How do face shields reduce the spread of infection?

As the effects of COVID-19 are seen around the world, personal protection equipment has become more prevalent in Healthcare, Aged Care and public settings. A number of studies have reported that masks and face coverings can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by up to two-thirds, a statistic which has resulted in masks becoming mandatory outside of the home for all Victorians. Face shields have also become a popular item of PPE in the move to reduce infection rates. Worn by those with respiratory problems and healthcare workers as an additional layer of PPE, face shields are increasingly common. We’re taking a look at how to wear face shields safely.

According to the experts, face shields are most effective when worn with a mask. Masks block respiratory secretions that are emitted by infected individuals when coughing, sneezing and talking to reduce the risk of transmission. Wearing a face shield with a well-fitted surgical mask can dramatically reduce the risk that an individual may become infected, making them ideal for those working in the Healthcare and Aged care industries. 

When worn correctly, face shields provide additional protection by protecting individuals against infectious droplets that are directly in front of them. Face shields also cover the eyes, protecting them in a way that masks are unable to, and reduce the risk that an individual will touch their eyes and become infected with the virus.

As a barrier to infectious droplets, it is important that a face shield is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every use. Face shields should be cleaned using a sanitising solution containing at least 60% alcohol to ensure that any lingering micro-organisms which have the potential to be harmful are destroyed. Disposable gloves should be removed, and hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds both before and after removing and washing the face shield. Any disposable gloves that are worn whilst removing or cleaning the shield should also be disposed of safely.

Aside from wearing a face mask and face shield, there are a number of other precautions that those working in the Healthcare and Aged care industries can take. Sanitising high-traffic areas in Healthcare and Aged Care facilities has been shown to reduce the spread of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. Door handles, bathrooms, tables, and other surfaces should be frequently sanitised. Amongst a range of commercial kitchen supplies, Fildes Food Safety supplies sanitising products designed for use in Healthcare and Aged Care facilities. Well-fitting disposable gloves should also be worn to create a barrier between the hands and bacteria and viruses. Contactless infrared body thermometers should also be utilised within Healthcare and Aged Care facilities to monitor patients and determine the level of care and isolation that may be required to prevent the spread of the virus.

Alongside a range of commercial kitchen supplies, Fildes Food Safety supplies personal protection equipment including face masks and face shields. A range of cleaning, sanitisation and protection products and equipment are also available. Visit our website or get in touch to place an order.

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