Many Americans who venture to the grocery store amid the coronavirus pandemic are wearing gloves for protection, but that may actually increase the chance of becoming infected, according to Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel.
“Gloves accumulate germs, gloves accumulate viruses,” Siegel told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday
He was responding to a viewer’s question about whether wearing gloves at the grocery store is necessary.
“You’re going to not even realize when you touch something then you have it on the gloves, then you transfer it to your face, then you can get infected,” he explained.
Siegel argued that gloves can’t be changed enough to make a difference, so he advises not wearing them.
Instead, he urges people to wash their hands regularly.
If you do wear gloves, he said, be sure to remove them without touching the outside with your bare hands.
People should wash their hands after touching fresh produce, said Siegel.
And he pointed out to “Fox & Friends” viewers that the virus can survive for a time on frozen and refrigerated food containers even more effectively than on produce.
Gloves ‘carry a bioburden’
Siegel’s advice was confirmed by a hygiene expert at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Shanina Knighton, a nurse and researcher, told the university’s publication The Daily that wearing gloves “can carry a bioburden and increases the risk for transfer of germs.”
In her interview with the paper, she expressed concern about the gloves worn by workers at grocery stores, Cleveland.com reported.
“So those workers are constantly touching food, people’s money, people’s hand, carts and touch screens – without cleaning their hands or changing their gloves,” she said.
Knighton explained that when touching infected surface with gloves, the virus goes onto the glove’s surface, rather than the human hand, where it might not survive as easily.
She said she has contacted state and local officials about training workers on proper hand hygiene when wearing gloves.
Knighton recommended taking advantage of the hand sanitizer stations and disposable wipes at grocery stores, Cleveland.com reported.
Her advice: Wipe down the handles of grocery carts, don’t touch your face while shopping for items and keep away from other shoppers as much as possible.
Once at home, wash your hands and wipe down anything you purchased.