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COVID 19 has got its grip on the world. And although there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel with the latest reports of a vaccine being on the way, we still have a way to go and still very much need to protect ourselves from this pandemic.

As people grow increasingly tired of having to deal with COVID and the necessity of a face cover, face shields are becoming a popular alternative. They are a little more comfortable and have a variety of practical applications as well.

Face shields are devices that have a transparent window or visor supported in front of the face
and provide a barrier of protection to the facial area and related mucous membranes (eyes,
nose, lips).

Face shields are categorized as Level 1 PPE and are considered an alternative to goggles. The most common type of face shield is one that fits around the forehead. It usually contains some kind of padded strap that makes it comfortable to wear for an extended period of time.

Face shields are recommended if you work in any of the following industries:

• Healthcare
• Construction
• Spas or salons
• Lab technicians
• Painting
• Manufacturing
• Grocery or retail store
• Food service

The Infectious Disease Society of America lists face shields as part of physical distancing measures (rather than as PPE or source control). It is not specified if face shields are meant to be used alone or with a face mask.

Standards and requirements for face shields

Crown Mutual Group as part of their response to the federal government’s call for PPE, is authorized to import Class I medical face shields and other PPE for use for reducing the risk of or preventing the user from infection. CMG operates under the authority of federally issued Medical Device Establishment Licences (MDEL). Our PPE is safe and effective and exceeds the compliance requirements put forward by Health Canada following standards throughout the design and testing stages:

CDC Guidelines

The size of the face shield is important because it must protect the face and front part of the head. This includes the eyes, forehead, cheeks, nose, mouth, and chin.

Crown Mutual Face Shields

Our shields are 20% larger.

Face shield must be made of optically clear, distortion-free, lightweight materials.

Our shields are 60 gauge thick and durable.

Face shield must provide adequate space between the wearer’s face and the inner surface of the visor.

Our shields allow for the use of ancillary equipment including a medical mask, respirators or eyewear.

Display anti-fog characteristics on inside and outside of shield.

Our shields are dual anti-fog.

For reuse, manufacturers must provide validated cleaning instructions.

Our shields offer instructions for use in both French and English.

So, am I covered then?

As face shield are a valid option as an added layer or protection and are a good choice because they’re easy to disinfect and can be easier to breathe in all day, most experts believe you shouldn’t treat the shield as a substitute and you should still wear a cotton or cloth face mask underneath.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you cover your nose and mouth while out during the pandemic. The tricky part about face shields is that droplets can easily make it through the sides and bottom. A cloth mask underneath helps prevent this issue.

Conclusion

Face Shields are PPE that can help you but will not prevent you from catching COVID 19. And Face shields do not replace masks or face coverings. You can still potentially inhale infectious respiratory droplets exhaled by others. If you’re unable to wear a mask or face covering with your face shield, choose one that extends around the sides of the face and below the chin. Also, we must still maintain physical distancing of 2 metres and practise good hand hygiene, especially if you touch the face shield. We would like to lighten the mood with this terrible reality with some alternatives to the standard medical make that is often seen worn in public.

It is our mandate to protect all Canadians and North Americans big and small which is why we created a line of face shields corroding the patriotic support of Canada and the USA. In the spirit of the holidays in a world that might as well be the twilight zone, we also have protective face shields for Christmas. And because they deserve to be protective most of all we have a line of face shields to fit Children. This uncomfortable reality won’t be here for ever but until that day we have you covered!

Resources

  • Interim order respecting the importation and sale of medical devices for use in relation to COVID-19 Guidance document
  • Applications for Medical Devices under the Interim Order for Use in Relation to COVID-19 – Guidance Document
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment/face-shields.html#a1
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

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