While the use of medical gloves is an important aspect of personal protective equipment for health care workers, they do not need to be worn by members of the general public. If they are not used and disposed of properly, they can provide another surface for the virus to live on and potentially encourage further transmission. Dr. Deena Hinshaw (Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta, Canada) has said that gloves can be worn but are not a replacement for proper hand-washing. Being aware of what you are touching is still crucial if you are wearing gloves and knowing how to properly take them off is essential. If you choose to wear gloves remember to do the following:
- Wash your hands before putting gloves on and after taking them off
- Change them if they become soiled or torn
- Change gloves if they touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth or if they are used to cover a cough or sneeze
- Disposable gloves should be thrown out and only used once
- Reusable gloves must be cleaned and properly disinfected after each use.
- While taking them off ensure that the soiled portion never comes into contact with your skin
The following video shows how to properly take off gloves without touching them with your bare skin:
Using gloves can be an effective way to increase your awareness of what you are touching, but remember they cannot replace regular hand-washing.
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