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Gloves provide a false sense of security during COVID-19: U of G expert

He says frequent handwashing is one of the strongest tools against the coronavirus
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Professor Keith Warriner, food microbiologist, University of Guelph says, wearing gloves can actually increase the risk of spreading viruses like COVID-19.

Warriner explains, wearing gloves gives you a false sense of security and can make us forget how often we should be handling items right now.

If gloves are used as a substitute for handwashing, he says, this is where the problem lies.

"I've seen people eat with the gloves, I've seen people drink with the gloves, answer the phone. Even when you take the glove off, there's a special way of doing it so you don't contaminate your hand - a dirty hand, a dirty glove, touch your face, you might as well - it doesn't really matter if you have a glove on or not."

Warriner says the four pillars to fighting off the virus are: wearing masks, eye protection, frequent handwashing and social distancing.

He believes people see doctors or nurses on TV wearing gloves and assume that's the proper thing to do.

"It's a very different purpose, basically in hospitals, what they're trying to do is trying to not get the infectious agent from the actual patient. But also, you're trying to avoid taking that infectious agent and passing it on to someone else."

Even with gloves, he says, it's possible to touch a recently contaminated surface then touch your mouth, nose or eyes and potentially become infected.

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