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Australia Masks are better than face shields: Experts say why

14:40  28 september  2020
14:40  28 september  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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How tiny airborne droplets released by coronavirus-infected patients can get around plastic face Fitted face masks are better than scarves, bandannas and plastic face shields Swiss hotel outbreak infected only those who wore face shields but no mask Why the rule change? Face shields were never meant to be used without also wearing a

Are Face Shields Even Better Than Face Masks at Preventing Coronavirus Infection? Face shields —which shield a person’s face with a clear curved plastic panel— are more comfortable “We don’t have the research to say that they will offer protection for those around you, should you be sick

a man wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Victorians must now wear fitted face masks instead of bandannas, scarves, plastic face shields as masks have been deemed more effective at stopping droplet spread.

Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement Sunday ahead of Monday's Step Two lifting of coronavirus restrictions across Victoria.

It means that bandannas and scarves are no longer enough - Melburnians must also wear a face mask with them or instead of them.

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Are plastic face masks more effective than cloth face coverings? Adalja said that experts have debated the usefulness of cloth masks and there is "I don’t know why people think a face shield would be necessary For most people outside of a clinical setting the biggest risk is from touching

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YES: face shield with a mask underneath © Provided by Daily Mail YES: face shield with a mask underneath a man talking on a cell phone: NO: face shield with no mask © Provided by Daily Mail NO: face shield with no mask

As far as transparent plastic face shields go, Victorians must also wear a face mask underneath.

'Face shields don't meet the test of covering your nose and your mouth,' Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

'You can wear a face shield if you want to in terms of your eyes, but it would need to be accompanied by a mask and we would recommend a two-ply mask. A shield is akin to not wearing a face covering.'

Victorians will risk a fine of $200 if they do not wear a face mask while out.

WHY THE RULE CHANGE?

Face shields were never meant to be used without also wearing a face mask.

Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of the Biosecurity Research Program at the Kirby Institute at the UNSW said they are not appropriate protection in the community.

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'In Switzerland, where hotel staff could choose a mask or a shield, only those wearing a shield got infected,' she told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

'The virus is spread by respiratory aerosols, which are breathed directly in, unfiltered, when wearing a shield.'

a man standing in front of a crowd: A man walks past an outdoor photography exhibition of healthcare workers in Melbourne last Tuesday. Face masks are now mandatory in Victoria - a plastic face shield is not enough © Provided by Daily Mail A man walks past an outdoor photography exhibition of healthcare workers in Melbourne last Tuesday. Face masks are now mandatory in Victoria - a plastic face shield is not enough

Switzerland's hotel coronavirus outbreak prompted the country's health department to declare face shields ineffective in July.

Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said masks sit more closely to the face and stop the majority of particles leaving or entering someone's mouth or nose.

This decreases the risk that the droplets and particles of other people will reach the mucosal lining in your nose and mouth as you breathe.

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The bottom line, experts say , is that masks might help keep people with COVID-19 from unknowingly passing along the virus. The recommendations that everyone wear masks are because "any kind of impediment is better than nothing," Chu said . But fabric masks are not expected to be as protective

Experts explain why White House officials say face shields help boost COVID-19 protection for your eyes and mouth when worn with a face mask . White House officials say you should wear them if possible, but it's important to keep your face mask on as well .

It also reduces the amount of your own droplets in the air where they might infect others.

'If there is too much gaping at the sides, the particles or the droplets can make their way around the edge of the covering,' she told the Herald Sun.

'As soon as you having gaping holes, it is not effective. It's that marginal gain you get in terms of reduced risk of transmission.'

WHY DON'T FACE SHIELDS WORK?

Face shields are only for direct splatter protection, for example if someone coughs directly in your face, Professor MacIntyre said.

'They will not block aerosols, which can be breathed in, unfiltered, through the gaps around the edges,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'Shields are designed to be used as an adjunct to masks, not as an alternative.'

a man holding a sign: Bandannas such as this one worn by a man at Edithvale Woolworths, Melbourne, in August, are now banned unless you are also wearing a face mask underneath © Provided by Daily Mail Bandannas such as this one worn by a man at Edithvale Woolworths, Melbourne, in August, are now banned unless you are also wearing a face mask underneath

Professor MacIntyre said surgical or cloth face masks are not designed to filter aerosols. Instead they are designed as a physical barrier.

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When, why and how to wear a mask during this pandemic, according to the experts . A pedestrian walks past a portion of a reproduction of the painting Masks are the best option for the public, but face shields are a viable choice for people who can’t otherwise wear a mask , Chin-Hong said .

Face shields may be an alternative to masks for those returning to work or heading out on errands as Canada “If you can’t wear a mask , face shields are better than nothing. But a mask offers close protection so that it’s She sees why many find face shields more comfortable, but she says until

'However, three layers or more in a cloth or surgical mask can be a good filter, as long as the mask fits closely around the face without any gaps,' she said.

'This then forces air through the face piece, which acts as a filter.'

Professor MacIntyre and other scientists conducted a study which was published in the medical journal Thorax, showing how much difference extra mask layers can make.

The team found a single-layered cloth mask reduced droplet spread somewhat but was not as good as a double-layered cloth mask.

A three-ply surgical mask was better than both, the research showed.

'We did not test more than two layers, but generally, more layers are better,' the researchers wrote in The Conversation in July.

'For example, a 12-layered cloth mask is about as protective as a surgical mask, and reduces infection risk by 67 per cent.'

IS ANYTHING 100 PER CENT EFFECTIVE?

Coronavirus infects a person when viral particles come into contact with the mucosal membranes (the wet parts) in the nose, eyes and mouth.

Droplets with the viral particles are sprayed out of the mouth and nose when an infected person talks, laughs, sings, shouts, breathes, coughs and sneezes.

The heavier droplets fall to surfaces where they can be picked up on your hands and fingers - and when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, the virus on your hands infects the mucosal membranes.

The smaller, lighter aerosolised particles hang in the air where you can breathe them in, causing infection.

According to a WHO-commissioned study on the effect of physical distancing, masks and eye protection against covid-19, no barrier is 100 per cent effective.

Professor MacIntyre said the study,  published in The Lancet, found even respirators only reduce the risk of infection by 95 per cent.

Face masks reduced the risk of infection by 67 per cent and physical distancing of one metre reduces the risk by 82 per cent, according to the study.

'The bottom line is no intervention gives you 100 per cent protection, you have to use them in combination to reduce the risk,' Professor MacIntyre told Dr Norman Swan on the ABC's health report in June.

'Until the time that we can vaccinate people, you really have to use these interventions in combination.'

Read more

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