DOH Issues Advisory on Universal Use of Eye Protection

Situation Report | September 30, 2020

The state Department of Health (DOH) has issued a health advisory on the universal use of eye protection (face shields or goggles), strongly recommending its universal use for all patient interactions, in addition to face masks.

Wearing both face masks and eye protection provides better protection for health care personnel who might unknowingly encounter asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or symptomatic but undiagnosed patients or residents with COVID-19. It also might prevent some exposures that would otherwise require health care worker furlough (i.e., when a health care worker is in contact with a person with COVID-19 who was not wearing a face mask).

Standard eyeglasses are not personal protective equipment (PPE) and do not constitute sufficient eye protection.

DOH says it recognizes that PPE supply shortages might prevent universal use of eye protection in all health care encounters. In this situation, the shortage should be documented, and eye protection should be reserved for and considered required for the care of patients and residents with: known COVID-19; symptoms consistent with COVID-19; known exposure to a person with COVID-19; or in settings with a higher prevalence of patients or residents with COVID-19.

General questions or comments about this advisory can be sent to