Study Says Shields Less Effective Than Masks,Officials Don't Recommend Them

A new study published Tuesday in the journalPhysics of Fluid,found that clear, plastic masks with exhalation valves aren't as good at limiting the spread of the coronavirus as cloth or surgical masks, UPI reports. Researchers recreated airborne dispersion of respiratory droplets from the nose, mouth and throat, and found "these shields are not as effective ... you would be essentially putting everyone in a tight space with droplets accumulating over time, which could potentially lead to infections," said study co-author Siddhartha Verma. While the shields block the initial forward motion of the droplets, they were easily able to move around it and spread over a large area, and the exhalation vents let a lot of droplets through unfiltered. The AP reports that health officials don't recommend shields over masks, but say the could be used in conjunction with a mask. Shields do have the benefit of protecting your eyes and discouraging you from touching your face. The CDC recommends that if you do wear a shield with a mask, make sure you clean it after each use. Read more here