COVID-19

Q: Should I wear gloves in public to help protect myself from COVID-19?

A: While wearing a face covering in public is a key recommendation for all to follow to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, wearing gloves is not, according to the World Health Organization.

“Regularly washing your bare hands offers more protection against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves,” the organization wrote in a post on Facebook.

Other medical experts have given similar recommendations. Using your bare hands and then washing them frequently is the best idea for the typical tasks of everyday life, Dr. Emily Landon, hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at University of Chicago Medicine, told NPR.

“Skin is really great because it’s like a hydrophobic covering, which means it’s kind of waxy and sort of repels moisture,” Landon said. “That means when you touch things, they sort of stay on your hands and then you can wash your hands and get rid of them.”

Aside from everyday activities, gloves may be a wise decision when performing specific tasks and following best practices for disposal, Landon said. In hospitals, for example, gloves are often worn by medical staff for certain purposes and disposed of immediately afterward.

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