Masks vs. face shields: What should we be wearing?

As officials urge people to cover their faces, more face shields are being used for protection against the coronavirus. Here’s how they stack up against masks.
3:45 | 06/30/20

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Transcript for Masks vs. face shields: What should we be wearing?
We move to our "Gma" cover story and seeing more of those face shields that are being used as a protection against coronavirus but how do they stack up against masks or should you wear both? Becky Worley will join us now from San Francisco. She will take a closer look. Good morning there, Becky. Reporter: Good morning, you walk down the street of any town or city and you're going to see more of these face shields made for industrial settings, now being used to fight coronavirus. Clear plastic shields, hospital staff use them in conjunction with surgical masks or N-95s but many people are wearing them instead of cloth masks. I think face shields are a great option. One great advantage this time of the year is that they aren't as hot as a face mask is. For most people it feels easier to breathe when you have on a face shield. You don't get the fogging that you get with a mask if you're a person like me who wears glasses. And they're easy to clean. Reporter: Dr. Michael Edmonds cites a simulation done in 2014 asserting wearing a plastic face shield reduced the inhalation of droplets from a cough by 96%, significantly protecting the wearer. This simulation though was not conducted using the virus that causes covid-19 and the CDC says it is not known if face shields protect others from the spray of respiratory particles and CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. The CDC's deputy director Anne shoekotsaying -- In the health care setting it's not just the medical mask or n95. We think in that higher risk setting that eye protection is important. Reporter: To confuse matters even more some states list face shields as an alternative to cloth masks. Oregon listing masks, shields or coverings as being okay. But in nearby Seattle, the county saying, transparent face shields are not a direct substitute for face coverings because they don't protect others. Droplets released when someone cough, sneezes or speaks can be dispersed through the sides and bottom of the shield. We don't have all the data we need. What you would like is a study that compares head-to-head the two and those studies aren't yet available. Reporter: The doctors we spoke with cited hospital use of both a mask and a shield simultaneously to protect health care workers. They say that's probably too much for everyday grocery shopping, but viruses can infect you through your eyes and maybe the best thing about a shield is that it keeps you from touching your face, robin. Oh, that would be the case, yeah, kind of hard to do that but what about availability? You don't want to take them away from medical workers who need them more than the average person. Really good point. One of the doctors we spoke with for the story said one upside of shields they can be easily manufactured. Some big corporations have reconfigured their assembly lines and are making them. There are DIY instructions. You can 3D print this holder and cut a piece of clear plastic to snap? . That said they seem to be pretty hard to find online right now. I know they're popular or maybe there's a lot of welding going on. Okay, perhaps. You make that look good. All right. It's all about protection. Thanks so much, Becky. Always good to see you. Appreciate that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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