COLUMBUS, Ohio (NewsNation/WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Health announced Saturday that face shields are not an effective substitute for face masks and said that it does not comply with a health order regarding facial coverings in education settings.
ODH prohibited 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) recommends against using face shields as a substitute for facial coverings or masks. The use of masks or face coverings is intended to reduce the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer into the environment, onto another person, or onto a surface.
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.”
According to the CDC, some circumstances, such as the need for lip reading, require an alternative to masks. In those instances, a face shield should originate at the forehead with no gap, wrap around the sides of the face and extend below the chin.