Should You Wear Gloves While Out In Public? Doctors Seem to Think You Don’t Need To

It seems that the recommendations keep changing when it comes to the novel coronavirus. First we were told not to wear masks and to reserve them for health care workers. Now, the CDC recommends that everyone wear face coverings in public, such as a scarf or homemade fabric mask.

Many people probably assume that since it’s a good idea to wear a face covering when going to the grocery store, it’s also a good idea to wear gloves. Doctors disagree, and so does the CDC.

The CDC only recommends wearing gloves when you’re cleaning and disinfecting your home or if you’re a health care worker. 

While it’s easy to assume that if a face covering protects you from contracting COVID-19 gloves would also, but that’s not the case. 

Let’s review how COVID-19 is transferred from person to person. Jaimie Meyer, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine gave Health a very easy to understand explanation.

“​It’s important for people to understand that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease, is a respiratory virus carried on droplets, which means it needs to enter the respiratory tract to cause disease. The primary way it enters the respiratory tract is when people inhale infected droplets. We think a smaller proportion of infections happen when people touch surfaces where the virus lives and then touch their face.”

Basically, if you touch something that has the coronavirus germs on it, you’re not going to get sick unless you touch your face before you wash your hands. So, wash your hands.

Dr. Jason Newland, an infectious disease specialist at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, told 9News how gloves can actually transmit the virus.

“…You could be having the gloves touch a surface and think, ‘Oh, I’m good. Take your glove off and maybe hold it in your mouth, which I wouldn’t recommend ever to do, but it’s not clean so it’s not clean, you haven’t washed your hands and that puts you at risk…you gotta wash your hands and you’re gonna wanna wipe down those gloves you have all the time either way because the transmission is my gloves to my face, and that’s how i’m going to get the virus.”

Basically, you need to wash your hands even if you’re wearing gloves, and if you wear gloves and touch your face or a surface like your phone or credit cards while wearing the gloves, you still need to wash those too. The gloves might be giving you a false sense of protection. Skip the gloves, don’t touch your face and wash your hands.

For more about why gloves might do more harm than good, watch the video below.

Does it surprise you that doctors don’t recommend wearing gloves in public?