The CDC has made no recommendation that the general public should wear disposable gloves to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the agency does recommend that people wear disposable gloves when caring for someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, particularly when handling their laundry and when coming into contact with bodily fluids.
Still, plenty of people are wearing disposable gloves when they go about their daily routine, even though they don’t have a coronavirus patient at home—and experts say this is unnecessary. “People likely don’t wear them appropriately,” Dr. Adalja says. (For example, putting on gloves, taking them off to use your phone, and then putting them back on.) And, he adds, “if they’re using latex medical gloves, they’re not designed for everyday use and rip easily.”
Plus, people who wear gloves still have a tendency to touch their face, “which is the main way COVID-19 is spreading,” explains Richard Watkins, M.D., infectious disease physician and associate professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Like the general public’s run on face masks, Dr. Watkins says he’s concerned people snatching up gloves will cause shortages for medical professionals who actually need them.