Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many questions about the best ways to stay protected when we’re out and about. Once again, Ottawa Public Health have come through with some advice, and this time they’re answering the question, “should I wear gloves?” According to Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, the answer is no.
If you’ve suddenly become very conscious of everything you’re touching when you’re doing everyday activities right now, you’re apparently not the only one.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) revealed that they’d received a lot of questions regarding wearing gloves in public, and whether this would effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, according to Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, wearing plastic or disposable gloves to complete everyday activities is actually not a good idea.
In an official notice this week, Dr. Etches explained, “Whether or not you are wearing gloves, if you touch high-contact surfaces and then touch your face, you are increasing the risk of getting COVID-19 and transmitting COVID-19 to others.”
She noted that while gloves can make you feel more protected from the disease, this is not actually the case.
“Ottawa Public Health (OPH) does not recommend wearing gloves,” Dr. Etches clarified.
In addition to being potentially ineffective, plastic gloves have recently caused a huge littering problem in Ontario, too!
Instead, OPH notes that handwashing with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, is the most effective way to reduce the spread of germs when you’re out and about.
Additionally, OPH also previously clarified that there's no evidence that COVID-19 could be spread via groceries, so there's no need to sanitize anything other than your hands after shopping.
This latest advice comes just days after the capital's health agency confirmed that wearing face coverings in public was recommended by health officials.
In an interview last week, Dr. Etches explained, "I do hope that everyone will find a way to purchase a mask, or seek help to get one, because it’s likely that we need to wear a mask to protect others when we go out.”
“As we start doing more activities that bring us within two metres of somebody else, that’s when we would like everyone to be wearing a mask,” she added.
As some of Ottawa's services, businesses and green spaces reopen this week, locals have more and more questions about the best ways to stay safe.
For now, however, OPH’s advice remains the same. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and don’t touch your face!
Stay safe, Ottawa.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.