TAMPA, Fla. - Wearing a mask or some type of covering over your mouth while doing errands seems to be the new normal. But those taking it one step further; wearing gloves, are not as protected as they might think, according to health experts.
Gloves may increase the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.
"The problem is, if you're wearing the gloves and you touch your face, and you touch a contaminated surface, and you touch your face, you've just contaminated your face and that means it increases the likelihood of getting the virus," said Marissa Levine, a professor of public health and family medicine at the University of South Florida.
Dr. Levine says the most important thing to do during the COVID-19 pandemic is to maintain the 6-foot separation between yourself and others and wash your hands frequently.
"Just remember it is not recommended for the general public, it is recommended for healthcare workers," said Dr. Levine. "Leave the gloves for healthcare workers, for first responders, for people who are working in jobs like bus drivers where they have to touch surfaces."
Despite these very tough and uncertain times, Dr. Levine has some words of encouragement.
"We can beat this horrible disease, and it's working, we have to keep it up, that's the hardest part, and it'll be harder in the coming weeks," said Levine.
She says continuing social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and cleaning surfaces will make us more prepared for the next flu season and possibly another pandemic.