If you’re cleaning or caring for someone sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you wear gloves. Otherwise? Gloves are not necessary for the general public and could even serve to further spread COVID-19 (or other illnesses and germs).
In most other situations — such as running errands — the CDC instead prioritizes everyday preventive activities such as:
- Maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet from others
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after leaving the house
- Alternately, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Wearing a cloth face covering when in public
- Not touching your face
Germs can collect on gloves when a person wearing them in public begins to touch surfaces and can then spread after those gloves touch other objects. Also, gloves may have micro-sized pin holes not visible to the naked eye through which thousands of germs can pass or seep through in a short amount of time. Gloves can also create a false sense of security in regard to touching the face.
For more information on recommendations for wearing gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic, please review this infographic from Indiana’s coronavirus website and visit the CDC website.
As always: Recommendations are subject to change as new information becomes available about COVID-19, and all Purdue Extension articles will be updated accordingly.