The threat of contracting coronavirus is still high, and people are taking extra steps to avoid contact with germs. At the grocery store, you don’t know who touched what — your cart, produce, the credit card machine, etc. — so you might be wearing gloves — but should you be?
“Gloves create a barrier between germs on surfaces and people, if used correctly,” Karen Derusha, the supervising public health educator of the Clinton County Health Department in New York, told The Daily Meal in an email. “If worn while grocery shopping, they should be removed afterward without touching the outside of the glove with your bare hands. Then, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. It is important to not touch your face (mouth, eyes, nose) while wearing gloves that may be contaminated with germs.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing latex gloves if you’re cleaning or disinfecting your home, or if you’re a healthcare provider treating a coronavirus patient. The organization does not say anything about wearing latex gloves at the grocery store or other essential public spaces. Neither does the World Health Organization.
If you’re going to be around others, the CDC says you should wear a cloth face covering to protect other people in case you’re infected. Here is a guide on which type of mask to wear and how to put it on. And if you do choose to wear gloves, the CDC has a guide for that too.
That said, a mask and gloves are not substitutes for social distancing. The CDC says to keep 6 feet apart from others at all times, refrain from touching your face and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home. If you’re taking care of someone with coronavirus symptoms, here’s what you can do to help stop the spread of the infection.
This story originally appeared on The Daily Meal.