ODH prohibits use of face shields in Ohio schools


A physician assistant takes off her face shield after collecting a nasal swab sample from a patient for COVID-19 testing at Xpress Urgent Care in Tustin, Calif. The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running out again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced Saturday that face shields are not an effective substitute for face masks, saying that it does not comply with a health order regarding facial coverings in education settings.

ODH is prohibiting the use of face shields unless the person wearing one is exempt from wearing a mask for other reasons, such as a medical condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend against using face shields as a substitute.

According to the CDC, “At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.”

The interim health director’s order from Aug. 13 states “all students, faculty, and staff in any child care setting, school building or other location that provides care or education to any child in kindergarten through grade twelve in the State of Ohio shall wear facial coverings at all times.”

For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.    

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