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The best way to protect yourself against the growing spread of the coronavirus is still to stay home and self-isolate. But if you’re going to step outside — whether for groceries, for a run or for essential errands — the latest CDC recommendations say you should consider wearing a pair of disposable gloves, in addition to covering your face.
According to the CDC, gloves can serve as a layer of protection against germs you may come into contact with. And while officials say “transmission via respiratory droplets” is still the most common way to spread COVID-19 (hence the face masks), “transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus” could still occur. To help reduce your risks, the CDC says gloves should be worn when cleaning, picking up food (whether takeout or groceries), doing laundry and interacting with people.
Of course, gloves can only do so much to protect you; you should still be adhering to all the regular best practices, like washing your hands with soap and water, and avoiding contact with your eyes. Keep in mind that anything you touch with your gloves could technically be contaminated too. So make sure you wipe down your phone, wallet, bag, door handles and anything else that comes into contact with your gloved hands.
One final note: make sure you’re removing your gloves correctly. To remove your gloves, pull from the wrist and turn them inside out (sort of like how you would use a doggy bag for your pets). You want to avoid having the external-facing side of the glove come into contact with your skin. The CDC has a helpful illustration to show you how to properly remove your gloves.
While the best medical gloves are made from latex or rubber, we’ve included a number of decent alternatives that will provide adequate protection as well. Look for gloves that are thick and stretchy, so they won’t rip as you’re using them. Officials also recommend gloves that can be pulled back to cover your wrist as well. Note: to prevent contamination, you should dispose of your gloves after each use. These are not meant to be reusable.
1. Chef’s Star Disposable Latex Gloves
Grab a couple boxes of these stretchy latex gloves, which are made from a high-quality material that’s waterproof, flexible and scratch-resistant (I.e. these won’t tear easily). Run the gloves under water to wash off dirt and debris; the material is oil-resistant too, so nothing will cling to its surface. Chef’s Star says the latex is safe for food handling. This set includes 100 gloves per box.
2. ProCure Disposable Nitrile Gloves
These blue latex gloves are similar to what you’d find at medical examination rooms or a nail salon. The gloves are comfortable and grippy, and made with a puncture-resistant, latex-free material. They’re also long enough to fit over your wrists and over a watch or jewelry too. This set gets you 200 gloves.
3. Framar Midnight Mitts
For a longer pair of gloves that extends beyond your wrists, try these ones from Framar. The gloves measure 12 inches in length, and stretch out without ripping, tearing or having your nails poke through.
These gloves are designed for ambidextrous use (fits the same on your left or right hand), and they’re less sweaty than latex gloves. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to latex, these nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic rubber that’s gentler on your hands. This set comes with 100 gloves.
4. Disposable PVC Gloves
If you find latex or rubber gloves to be too tight or stuffy, consider using PVC gloves, which are made from a thin and lightweight plastic, that’s still surprisingly durable. The non-toxic material is safe for food handling. The gloves themselves have a slightly-grippy texture for a non-slip grip. This set contains 100 gloves.
5. Disposable Plastic Gloves
The biggest bundle on our list is this box of clear plastic gloves. They won’t be as strong or fitted as the other gloves on our list, but if you find yourself still out and about, one box gets you 500 gloves. These gloves are latex-free and fit looser on the hands, so they won’t feel constricting. They’re water-resistant and can be used for everything from handling food, to dyeing hair, to washing your pets, to disinfecting around the house. These gloves have an ambidextrous fit.