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Drew: How to Stay Safe by Properly Putting on and Removing Gloves

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

As the country’s COVID–19 numbers now have surpassed one million cases, it continues to be important for individuals to properly wear their PPE (personal protective equipment). The main PPE recommended to wear in the fight against this invisible deadly killer COVID – 19 includes masks, goggles, and gloves.

In addition, the wearing of PPE remains crucial as the country begins to lift “Stay at Home” orders and reopen various types of businesses, many where social distancing is difficult. Therefore, it is increasingly essential for shoppers to protect themselves by not neglecting to wear the proper PPE safety gear. One could consider it careless to place your health and well-being in the hands of business owners.

Next week’s article will outline how to stay safe in this new normal when shopping or eating out again, but this week’s focus is a review on the proper guidelines to donning (putting on) and doffing ( taking off) non-sterile disposable gloves. Gloves help with the prevention of spreading unwanted and potentially dangerous germs associated with COVID-19.

Our skin is the body’s largest organ, and efficient as it may be in protecting everything inside our body, it’s vital to keep it safe. Gloves add a barrier for skin protection and aids in the prevention of contracting and spreading germs. This is why wearing the correct size glove is important.

Never put on gloves without disinfecting your hands first. Wash them with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol based disinfectant. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before putting on your gloves. Put them on as usual making sure the cuff extends as far up on your arm as possible.

Since individuals touch a variety of surfaces while wearing gloves, how gloves are removed then becomes vital to their health and safety. Therefore, understanding how to carefully and properly remove gloves becomes important:
• Grasp and hold the outside of the glove near the wrist area. Do not touch your bare skin.
• Peel downwards, away from the wrist, turning the glove inside out.
• Pull the glove away until it is removed from the hand and hold the inside-out glove with the gloved hand.
• With your ungloved hand, slide your finger(s) under the wrist of the remaining. glove, taking care not to touch the outside of the glove.
• Again, peel downwards, away from the wrist, turning the glove inside out.
• Continue to pull the glove down and over the inside-out glove still inside your hand.

This will ensure that both gloves are now inside-out, with one glove enveloped inside the other, with no contaminant on the bare hands.
Lastly, there are a few additional pointers that are important to remember in your attempt to Keep an Eye on Safety:
• Don’t touch environmental surfaces such as doorknobs, your computer keyboard or mouse, etc. with contaminated gloves.
• Don’t touch your face or adjust your PPE (masks or goggles) with contaminated gloves.
• Don’t remove one glove and then pull the other glove off by the fingertips.
• Don’t reuse disposable gloves once they have been removed.
• Do change gloves when heavily soiled or if torn.
• Do wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol based disinfectant after you remove your gloves.

As we continue our daily battle in the prevention and spreading of this deadly coronavirus, COVID–19, it is imperative we stay abreast with the scientific facts, wear our PPE when in open public spaces and follow safety guidelines with their proper removal. Let’s continue to stay safe and flatten this curve.