Face Shields

June 18, 2020

Face shields provide barrier protection to the facial area and related mucous membranes (eyes, nose, lips) and are considered an alternative to goggles. Face shields are not meant to function as primary respiratory protection. They should be used concurrently with a medical mask (for droplet precautions) or a respirator (for airborne precautions) if an aerosol-generating procedure is performed. They should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face. Face shields are available in both disposable and reusable options.

Q: When should face shields be used?

A: Face shields should be used with a mask or respirator when the wearer is at an increased risk for exposure to airborne mists and droplets that may be infected with the COVID-19 virus.  Medical and dental personnel often use face shields and masks when they are treating COVID-19 patients or are performing procedures that aerosolize body fluids.  Face shields should also be used by those that are performing COVID-19 testing and temperature checks where they will be in close proximity of others.

Q: What PPE should be worn by those performing COVID-19 testing or temperature checks?

A: People that are performing COVID-19 testing and/or temperature checks are likely to be in close proximity to a large number of people.  They should wear a mask, face shield, disposable gloves, and a gown or smock.

Q: How should face shields be cleaned after they are used?

A: Reusable face shields (medical or industrial) should be cleaned with a mild detergent solution or disinfected with an approved sanitizing product.  The face shields should be air-dried after they are cleaned.

Q: Can engineering controls be used in place of face shields?

A: Fixed plexiglass or similar materials can be used as a barrier between people.  A person performing temperature checks can reach around the wall while maintaining a barrier between themselves and others.  The plexiglass should be cleaned regularly with a mild detergent solution or an approved sanitizing product.

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Please be advised that any and all information, comments, analysis, and/or recommendations set forth above relative to the possible impact of COVID-19 on potential insurance coverage or other policy implications are intended solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. As an insurance broker, we have no authority to make coverage decisions as that ability rests solely with the issuing carrier. Therefore, all claims should be submitted to the carrier for evaluation. The positions expressed herein are opinions only and are not to be construed as any form of guarantee or warranty. Finally, given the extremely dynamic and rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, comments above do not take into account any applicable pending or future legislation introduced with the intent to override, alter or amend current policy language.