Working For Your Health


Gloves: To wear or not to wear

Posted at 8:27 AM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 17:20:31-04

BALTIMORE — As the positive number of coronavirus cases continue to rise, we want to help keep you and your family safe.

A local doctor tells WMAR-2 News the best way to do that is practice social distancing, stay home, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, use sanitizing wipes, wear a mask and don't wear gloves.

The best disease containment strategy is social distancing, staying six feet away from other people and staying home. When you do go out, wear a mask. The CDC says this helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus since people who aren't showing any symptoms can transmit the virus.

"Although we’re not using these masks to protect ourselves, we’re using them to protect our community as a whole by wearing masks because it’s a respiratory droplet and the thought is it’s creating another barrier for the droplet to pass through," said Dr. Vinisha Amin, a hospital medicine physician from the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.

There healthcare providers where masks, gowns and gloves as a safety precaution. However, Dr. Amin said people in the community don't need to wear gloves unless they're directly dealing with a COVID-19 patient. She said people are not using gloves correctly and that's the issue.

"Many times what people are doing they’ll have gloves on they’re still touching their face. They’ll have gloves on. They’ll take them off and the put them back on to she their cell phone, that’s inappropriate use of a personal protective device," said Dr. Amin. "A protective device is as good as the person who knows how to use it. Right? So if you’re not utilizing the device appropriately, obviously the risk for cross contamination is present and that’s what we’re seeing more often then not."

The other reason gloves aren't needed is because the virus needs a person to survive.

"As as soon as it goes on surfaces, the amount of virus significantly drops to less than 0.1 percent so even though it’s detectable and there for long periods of time we don't have data to support transmission from surface to human," said Dr. Amin. "Not to say that it’s not possible. But the viral load is so small once it’s on that surface that the chance of that happening is scarce it’s very minimal."

The best way for you to stay safe is practicing good hand hygiene. Make sure you use sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

"Don’t touch surfaces while your hands are still wet. Rub until dry for the most effective and efficient use," Dr. Amin said.

Plus, wash your hands for 20 seconds or two 'Happy Birthday' songs. Dr. Amin said the most effective way to wash your hands is palms, back of hands, in between fingers, thumb crevices, nail beds (top and underneath) then wrists.

"Those are better precautionary measure than utilizing gloves which really is just a false sense of assurement that you’re doing something right," said Dr. Amin.