MARQUETTE — It’s pretty common now to see people wearing gloves and masks, or personal protection equipment, when out and about getting essential items. But simply wearing the PPE isn’t enough, it is also important that it is worn properly.
Properly wearing PPE is essential for staying safe, as well as keeping others around you safe. Gloves are important to prevent touching objects or surfaces that may have the virus on them, but there also is a proper way of taking them off.
When removing gloves, use the following steps:
- Use one hand to grab the bottom of the glove on the opposite hand
- Pull upward to remove it, turning the glove inside out, holding it in the gloved hand
- Using the bare hand, pull up from the inside of the glove that is still on
- Pull the glove all the way off, forming a ball around the other glove that has been taken off
Following these steps will make it so the bare skin does not ever touch the outside of the glove that may have been contaminated.
“One of the best ways I’ve seen this said is ‘glove to glove, skin to skin,'” said Debra Schaffer, a registered nurse and a member of the Michigan Nurses Association. “So your gloves never touch your skin, they only touch the other glove. And your skin only touches your skin, and not the gloves.”
“And properly washing your hands after wearing gloves is the safest way,” said Gregory Kerwin, who is also a registered nurse and a member of the MNA. “Wearing gloves does not replace good hand hygiene. You must wash your hands even after wearing your gloves.”
Another problem that has been seen is the improper wearing of the masks. Wearing masks or cloth over your mouth is beneficial to you, as well as the people that may be around you.
“Not bringing it up to the bridge of the nose, and not bringing it below the chin,” Schaffer said when talking about the ways people wear their masks incorrectly. “Most people want to wear it just over the immediate part of their face, and not bring it up and over [the nose], or down and under [the chin]. Wearing the masks protects other people from you, from your germs, and you might be passing something you have. You might have COVID-19, or coronavirus, if you’re not wearing your mask appropriately.”
Where you’re walking and handling your shoes could also be an issue, one that was not known until recently.
“Actually we just found out a few days ago in a study that this virus likes to live on the floors,” said Kerwin. “If you sneeze and have the virus, or cough and have the virus, it travels up to 3 or 4 meters. It falls to the ground, and then you walk on it, and then you bring your shoes into the house. So one of the things you want to do to prevent spreading the disease to your family members and your home is to use a Clorox wipe of some nature to clean your shoes until you enter your home.”
Along with wearing PPE, it is very important to follow the CDC guidelines for staying safe: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, stay home when you are sick, and to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.