Experts warn of cross contamination while wearing gloves

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, often when someone who has the virus coughs or sneezes. But it’s also possible for someone to get it from a contaminated surface.

Even still, health experts say that wearing gloves in public is not necessary during the pandemic.

A Guelph professor says gloves themselves are not the issue, it’s the unsafe habits some people have while wearing them.

“Gloves in this case are more bad than good,” says Keith Warriner, food microbiologist at the University of Guelph.

“People wearing gloves start talking on the phone, even eating food, touching the face.”

This transfers the germs from the gloves to other objects or to yourself.

Warriner says another problem is how people take them off. He says if you must wear gloves, the proper way to remove them is to take one hand out and with your free hand, pull up and under from the bottom and roll it over safely.

“You don’t take it off by your teeth, which I’ve seen,” he says.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says they have never advised the public to wear gloves to protect people from contracting COVID-19, adding they can give a false sense of security.

“We feel we can touch items much more,” says Warriner.

The best practices remain physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, and wearing a non-medical face mask when keeping six feet apart isn't possible.

Experts say they are also seeing people throwing gloves on the ground in parking lots instead of putting them in the trash, which is not only bad for the environment, but it is also a health concern for the maintenance crew who has to clean it up.