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VERIFY: No, face shields are not as effective as masks in preventing COVID-19

The CDC does not recommend wearing face shields over masks. However, the face shields are more protective than not wearing anything at all.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina's mask mandate expires July 30, and now the state's school districts will decide whether your child will need a mask in schools. 

Some parents are wondering about the effectiveness of different types of masks. 

THE QUESTION

A viewer sent this question to our VERIFY email: How effective would a face shield be for teachers and students to wear if they can't or won't wear a mask? 

THE SOURCES 

THE ANSWER

The CDC does not recommend wearing face shields over masks. However, the face shields are more protective than not wearing anything at all.

WHAT WE FOUND

According to the CDC, a face shield or goggles are not a substitute for cloth masks worn over the mouth and nose. The CDC states that face shields are primarily used to protect the eyes but are not as effective at protecting you or people around you from respiratory droplets. 

"The face shield is not fitting close to the mouth and nose, so it's not offering a seal so to speak and for the best barrier protection, we certainly recommend those devices that offer to cover up the mouth and nose," Dr. Robinson said.

According to Dr. Robinson, the face shield is better than nothing but suggests masks are more sufficient. 

"If you use the mask and then you can also use the face shield with the mask to offer the best protection," Dr. Robinson said. 

The CDC recommends a face shield that wraps around the sides of your face extends below your chin.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify. 

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