Mouth shield is a transparent plastic made to cover the mouth part of a person’s face. Like a face shield, it serves as a barrier of Covid-19 transmission, but it only covers the lower part of the face. It is also similar to a chef wearing a mouth shield to prevent the transfer of germs and diseases to food; its purpose is to avoid saliva transmission among people.
The CBC News network entertained questions from citizens, and asked experts from concerned fields regarding their opinion on these matters during The National, and on CBC News Network. It helps people find answers to their Covid-19 questions.
One of the questions is, ”can mouth shields replace cloth masks?” People may be seeking for cheaper alternatives as the crisis continuously reduces personal income. More than a monetary concern, this alternative is primarily an issue of effectiveness.
Experts firmly responded no.
“I don’t think they’re a really good alternative at all… These are developed for the food-service industry, and they’re not studied or designed for this purpose at all.”Dr. Susy Hota, medical director for infection prevention and control at the University Health Network in Toronto
Based on ROC’s report cited in a blog, “63 percent of workers reported cooking or serving food while sick at some point.” Considering this, germs and diseases that come from a sick cook’s mouth transfer to the food. Mouth shields serve the purpose of blocking this transmission.
With the blocking of disease transmission to food, people may consider mouth shields to be effective in preventing Covid-19 spread among people. For public health officials, the purpose of wearing these non-medical masks is “to protect others from the droplets spewing from your mouth and nose.”
There is existing evidence that proves non-medicals masks offer protection for the wearers. In contrast, there “lots of opportunities for droplets to get in,” according to Hota, because it only covers the mouth part.
Mouth shields are the same as face shields. Both have questionable effectiveness compared to face masks. Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said, “full face shields have the same problem.”
A study about Covid-19 transmission conducted in Switzerland found out that “none of the people wearing masks tested positive for the virus. Several of the people wearing only face shields, however, did test positive.”
In conclusion, mouth shields or face shields are useful supplements to face masks, but should not be used as an alternative.