PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Christina Rasitis is one of many who believe wearing gloves while shopping will keep her and others safer.
“Of course it’s a little bit safer because if you touch anything after I come back to the car I’m going to throw away the gloves,” said Rasitis, who takes special care when disposing of the gloves.
“You have to be careful when you take them off. And then you turn them upside down, you know what I mean? So you don’t touch anything else.”
But most experts agree, wearing gloves may not actually protect you.
If you’re touching an infected surface and then touching your face, your cell phone, your wallet or your purse, now those items have the infection on them.
On top of that, many people who are now wearing the gloves don’t know how to properly dispose of them. Some elect to leave them in parking lots rather than throw them away or take them in their cars.
Dr. Juan Dumois is an infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.
“When I see people wearing gloves in public, almost universally, they are doing things wrong,” said Dr. Dumois. “They don’t understand why gloves might be helpful, they’re not using them correctly and in my opinion, the gloves put them at higher risk than if they didn’t wear gloves.”
Dr. Dumois explains, when health professionals use gloves with patients, the gloves protect them from any surface they touch in a room as long as they don’t touch their face. As a rule, those in the field dispose of the gloves in that patient’s room and then immediately wash their hands.