With COVID-19 cases beginning to drop and a roadmap laid out for the ending of nationwide restrictions, it is important now more than ever to ensure you are protecting yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus. Over the next few months, the UK will begin to have its restrictions eased. This will result in an increase the amount of close contact we are having with others again. With this in mind and whilst also remembering the multiple new strains of the virus beginning to circulate now is the best time to be taking a closer look at the efficiency of your masks and face shields.

This month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their findings regarding the efficiency of masks and face shields. The results indicated that wearing two face masks (one on top of the other) can be a highly effective way of reducing the transmission of the virus. The CDC’s tests have shown that by doubling up on your masks, you can reduce the likelihood of transmission between two people by up to 95% providing that both parties are wearing their masks correctly.

Along with WHO and Public Health England, the CDC also recommends that everyone should wear masks in public settings when around people who are not in your household, especially when social distancing is not possible.

So, should we be double-masking?

Mask efficiency relies on two major factors: the fit, and the filtration. Double-masking will improve either factor if your mask is lacking one or both. The best mask will seal all around your nose, cheeks and chins, because the goal of a mask is to avoid inwards and outwards emissions. If your mask is a single layer mask or a surgical mask, then theoretically, double-masking should improve its efficiency. However, if your mask already has multiple layers and fits well, is there the need to add another mask on? If the goal of doubling up on a face mask is to enhance the protection of the first one, then perhaps the idea of a face shield should be considered instead.

Face Shield Effectiveness

A recent study led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professor Yifang Zhu in the USA and published in the Aerosol Science and Technology journal determined that combining a face shield and a face mask together enhanced the effectiveness of both face coverings. The use of a face shield by itself was shown to provide minimal protection, but wearing a face shield over a face mask was actually shown to reduce the spread of particles by up to 89%.

With face shields being a much less cumbersome form of face covering, if the need to double-up on face coverings arises, should the additional layer of protection in fact be a face shield instead of another face mask?

Face Shields At Stephens Plastics

As a trusted face shields supplier, here at Stephens Plastics, we are proud to have been supporting the ongoing demand for PPE during the global pandemic by manufacturing face shields. We have supplied CE marked face shields to many organisations and establishments such as the NHS and leading restaurants nationwide. If you would like to find out more about plastic face shields at Stephens Plastics, then head to our website today. Alternatively, you can call 0121 544 5808 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.