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A new trend is emerging in the protective product arena: Face shields. As many states across the country start to reopen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to urge people to wear cloth face masks in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, some people remain understandably concerned about being exposed to the virus now that stay-at-home orders are being lifted. Whether they're looking for more protection or for a more comfortable face covering, there's been a rise in popularity of face shields (searches for "face shields" have peaked at their highest point, according to Google Trends).
Yet, the CDC cautions that face shields should not be worn in place of a cloth mask. There have only been a few studies done on the effectiveness of face shields—like one conducted in 2014 which found that plastic shields reduced the number of droplets inhaled by 96 percent—and the CDC warns that it remains unknown if shields offer adequate protection against the spray of respiratory droplets.