For the general public, wearing protective gloves is not necessary in most situations, like running errands. CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.
Practice everyday prevention like keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), and wearing a face mask when you have to go out in public.
Gloves in the workplace
Guidelines and recommendations for glove use in healthcare and work settings will differ from recommendations for the general public.
Standard specifications for nitrile gloves, natural rubber gloves, and polychloroprene gloves indicate higher minimum tensile strength and elongation requirements compared to vinyl gloves.1,2,3,4
The ASTM has developed standards for patient examination gloves. Length requirements for patient exam gloves must be a minimum of 220mm-230mm depending on glove size and material type.
When to use gloves:
Use gloves when cleaning and disinfecting or providing care to someone who is sick
When you are routinely cleaning or disinfecting your home.
Follow precautions listed on the disinfectant product label, which may include-
Wearing gloves (reusable or disposable)
Having good ventilation by turning on a fan or opening a window to get fresh air into the room you’re cleaning
Wash your hands after you have removed the gloves.
When caring for someone who is sick
If you are providing care to someone who is sick at home or other non-healthcare setting.
Use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the area around the person who is sick or other surfaces that may be frequently touched in the home.
Use disposable gloves when touching or having contact with blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine.
After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can. Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
Wash your hands with hand sanitiser after you have removed the gloves.
When gloves aren’t needed
Wearing gloves outside of these instances (for example, when using a shopping cart or using an ATM) will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs.
The best way to protect yourself from germs when running errands and after going out is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.