You may have noticed workers in some essential businesses outside of the medical field wearing latex gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many consumers are questioning if the long wear of these gloves could risk spreading the virus.

The chief medical officer at the University of Alabama Medical Center, Dr. Thomas Weida, said he’s seen coronavirus particles live on surfaces for up to six days. People should certainly want to be aware of what they touch and use a lot of hand sanitizer or hand washing.

But, in terms of latex gloves, their protection is pretty much one-sided.

“The gloves are going to protect the wearer,” Weida said. “If the wearer touches their face while having the gloves on, it is not going to protect them. Having the gloves on may help them become more aware of not touching their face. It doesn’t matter how long they are wearing them, it is what they are doing when they are wearing them.”

Weida said in a checkout line at the supermarket, for instance, it may not be realistic for workers to change out gloves between every customer.

“It is going to depend on their supply of gloves they have,” he said. “Gloves are in short supply as well as most personal protective equipment right now.”

Weida said it’s important for everyone to look out for themselves.

“It is a matter of the person who is getting this produce or getting these items to wipe them down before they use them,” Weida said. “When they get them home, wipe them down.”

Categories: Archives, COVID-19, Local News