The Case for Face Shields: Improving the COVID-19 Public Health Policy Toolkit
Bill of Health (2020)
7 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2020 Last revised: 13 Oct 2020
Date Written: September 2, 2020
As the United States battles the later stages of the first wave of COVID-19 and faces the prospect of future waves, it is time to consider the practical utility of face shields as an alternative or complement to face masks in the policy guidance. Without face shields specifically noted in national guidance, many areas may be reluctant to allow their use as an alternative to cloth face masks, even with sufficient modification.
In this piece, we discuss the benefits of face shields as a substitute to face masks in the context of public health policy. We further discuss the implications and opportunity costs of creating policy guidance with only a small subset of scientific data, much of which is limited. We conclude by arguing that existing federal guidance should be expanded to include face shields as a policy option.
Keywords: face shields, masks, COVID-19, coronavirus, disability, racial discrimination
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