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CAP GUARD: THE EVERYDAY FACE SHIELD

Everyone from educators to students, from security staff to restaurant employees, and from retail workforce to medical/dental personnel are using the Cap Guard face shield. Clipping on to a visor or cap brim in a matter of seconds, the one hundred percent recyclable and reusable thermoformed plastic shield protects the eyes, hangs below the chin, and provides wrap around coverage. Wearing Cap Guard, “the everyday shield,” reminds one of the need for social distancing during these challenging times while still providing a full view of one’s facial expressions and lip movements for clear and effective communication whether indoors or outside.

 

Cap Guard ends “the compromise”

Too often, verbal communication is compromised when parties are wearing masks. Whether it’s a teacher speaking to a student in school or a restaurant customer asking a waiter about items on the menu, communicating solely through a mask can be difficult, and voice transmission can be garbled or misunderstood. We have all seen it - after several attempts, “the compromise” ends up being someone pulling their mask down so that words can be projected, enunciated, and mouth movements seen more clearly. Unfortunately, this also defeats containment of aerosol particles by the mask. An article this past spring on MedicineNet compared face shields to face masks for efficacy in reducing transmission of COVID-19 and referenced the tendency for masks to be adjusted to assist in communication. “When speaking, people sometimes pull down a mask to make things easier -- but that isn't necessary with a face shield.”  

The CDC also warns that mask wearers should not touch their masks with their fingers as they may infect themselves. Thus, every point of contact of fingers to mask, whether it be an adjustment or a simple itch, poses additional risk to the wearer.  

 

Cap Guard Protects

There are also those who simply will not wear a mask properly. There are the “below the nose” mask wearers and the more avant-garde “below the chin” wearers, and then we have plenty of people who simply refuse to wear a mask despite recommendations by the CDC, NIH, and leading Epidemiologists because they either feel required masks infringes on individual rights or that COVID-19 is less than the threat stated.

Face shields, seen as more tolerable, have been supported by leading Epidemiologists such as Dr. Eli Perencevich in a recent AARP article, “Masks are really about protecting others — that data is really strong,” Perencevich says. “Face shields are about protecting the wearer. If you have to be in the community, any kind of cotton mask or medical mask and a face shield is really ideal protection.’ Unlike masks — which people tend to let slip under their nose, or worse, off their face completely — ‘it's hard to wear a face shield incorrectly.”  

An article in Reflections on Invention, Protection, and Control provided additional substance for the consideration of using face shields by the general public, “There is – I think it’s fair to say – emerging evidence that face shields reduce the exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets considerably. If you can get comfortable that face shields provide adequate protection of the respiratory tract, they offer you the following benefits over a face mask: They cover your eyes in addition to your mouth and nose; they also cover your face so stop the prospect of a respiratory droplet landing on your face…; They make it much harder for you to touch your face…; They offer the potential for decontamination and reuse…;They have less chance of prompting the occupational hazards of long-term wearing face masks (painful / damaged ears and nose bridges)...; It’s easier to communicate through them because people can see your whole face for expressions and lip reading.”  

The Cap Guard face shield is the clear choice alternative in face coverings as part of an overall strategy to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the community setting.

 

All masks are not created equal

Recent studies of masks reveal there are countless variations with no definitive standards. This lack of standardization has made comparing face shields to face masks next to impossible. Jennifer Veltman, MD, chief of infectious diseases at Loma Linda University Health, says, ‘It’s too complicated to compare a face shield to a face mask because people are not all wearing the same masks,’ Veltman says. ‘In the community, some people are wearing bandannas, homemade masks or N-95 masks. There has not been a study comparing face shields to masks, and doing such study would be challenging since mask materials vary greatly in the community.”

While many are wearing better masks (without ventilation ports or pores to release heat), even the best masks are not meant to be worn repeatedly and degrade over time from moisture from the wearer’s breath. Worse still are the number of inadequate masks being touted as highly effective. This is particularly dangerous if your mask is imported from another country. According to a report published online September 22, and reported in Business Insider, as many as 60-70 percent of those masks imported to the US from China may not meet America's minimum safety standards. “Researchers at ECRI, an independent nonprofit researching safety and cost-effectiveness in healthcare, tested nearly 200 KN95 masks from 15 different manufacturers. They found that a significant majority filtered out fewer than 95 percent of particles, a standard the helps protect healthcare workers and first responders from possible coronavirus infection. That could indicate that of the hundreds of thousands of masks imported from China during the pandemic, up to 70 percent may be less protective than advertised, the study said.”

 

Cap Guard offers part of the maximum protection

Many leading Epidemiologists see the combination of face shield and face mask as providing the maximum preventative face covering solution. "Masks are source control protecting others, whereas face shields are both source control and protecting yourself from the droplets landing anywhere on your face,” says Eli Perencevich M.D., infectious disease physician and Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Experts warn of a second surge of COVID-19 that could be harder than what was experienced this past spring into summer. Just as wearing of masks have become somewhat commonplace in public, if not mandated, so too may come the addition of face shields offering further protection than just wearing a mask alone.

While there have been no studies in the United States on the efficacy of face masks combined with face shields, there is very interesting data that came out of India last month and was featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Community health workers visited COVID-19 positive patients in their homes and the healthcare workers wore face masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19 from patient to healthcare worker. In short order almost twenty percent health workers came down with COVID-19 prompting the immediate change of requiring workers to wear face shields and face masks when visiting sick patients. Of particular note was more than 18,000 home visits were conducted after the implementation of mask and shield without an additional health worker getting sick, “This study found no SARS-CoV-2 infections among community health workers after the addition of face shields to their personal protective equipment…The face shields may have reduced ocular exposure or contamination of masks or hands or may have diverted movement of air around the face…Further investigation of face shields in community settings is warranted.”

Cap Guard face shields are made of durable thermoformed plastic and can be sanitized easily in between uses with soap and water. Mounting to the brim or a visor or a cap, the Cap Guard face shield is optically clear, highly durable, and easily stored in its ready-to-go position. Manufactured in the United States, and readily available, Cap Guard stands out as the “everyday shield” whether being used alone for effective communication or being combined with a face mask for maximum protection.

 

www.capguard.us

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Cap Guard meets Dr. Lisa Rose Johnson, Ed. D.

 

Egg Harbor Township/Rowan University

 Dr. Lisa Rose Johnson, Ed.D. is currently the Teacher Education SIG Representative for NJTESOL/NJBE. She began her teaching career in 2003. In 2008, she began working with English Language Learners and students who are dually enrolled in ESL and Special Education. Additionally, she has trained preserve teachers for Stockton University, Mississippi State University-Meridian and currently for Rowan University. Her current research is related to ESL teachers using the Friend and Cook Co-Teaching Models, integrating responsive classroom techniques.

 

What concerns do you have about returning back to school and the risks of COVID-19 transmission?

My biggest concern is safety. Currently I am wearing a mask but I would like to have extra protection with a face shield. I also work on school district that did not purchase safety partitions that would provide a barrier.

 

How do you feel your students will tolerate wearing a mask for a full day of school?

I feel students will be able to wear them for short periods of time. Currently, I am engaged in in-person testing and students are wearing masks for the whole 2 hours they are testing.  I feel that schools should allow for time outside and also provide safety materials including wipes and hand sanitizer.

 

Teachers that have returned to school have already complained about chapped faces and lips, hoarse voices, facial breakouts, and dehydration from not drinking enough as it’s hard to sip water while wearing a mask. Which of these (one, some, or all) present concerns to you? I agree that getting dehydrated is an issue. My school also closed all of the water fountains and asks that employees bring their own water. I typically wear 2 masks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I use sanitizing laundry detergent and that can be harsh on my skin.

 

 

How do you feel about the risk of students touching their faces and possibly self-infecting as a result?

Yes, there are risks of self infection and also dangers with hand sanitizer as it is made of alcohol. Too much exposure to young people can cause health problems. Also, children who touch their faces is always an issue during cold, flu or COVID.

 

Why is it important for you to be able to see student’s full facial expressions and lip movements, meaning verbal and non-verbal communication, while teaching? It is difficult to assess students when they are wearing a mask. It is hard to see their mouth moves and when they read aloud it is hard to hear what they are saying. This also makes it hard for students to learn from each other.

 

Why is it important for the student to be able to see your full facial expressions and lip movements, meaning verbal and non-verbal communication, while teaching? As an ESL teacher it is important for the students to see how the sounds are made. Also, when students learn languages it is important to see how the teacher's mouth moves. All students benefit from verbal and nonverbal communication and wearing a mask makes it hard to see this. Wearing a face shield would allow for safety for students to see teachers.

 

Face shields are 100 % recyclable, re-usable, and easily sanitized between uses with warm water and antibacterial soap. Face shields also retain less facial heat; eyeglasses won’t fog, and one is less likely to touch their face.  They are also tolerated longer. As a teacher, which aspects of a face shield are most important to you and why?

As an environmental steward I love the reusability [of a face shield] and that they are recycled. I love that they are easy to clean with soap and water. Also, since I wear eyeglasses masks do make my glasses fog and do hurt my ears. Wearing a face shield would have multiple benefits to me when I am in the classroom with my students.

 

If you (teacher) and students wore face shields instead of masks, how would the teaching experience differ in your opinion? Face shields would allow for safety and allow for communication to be easily maintained. Face shields would keep the students and they could wash them at home or at school.

 

Please feel free to add anything you feel about the efficacy of face shields vs masks in the education setting. Face shields are a safe way to protect students and teachers. They allow for students to see clearly and provide full face protection. They also allow for communication and social distanced group work to happen in classrooms.

 

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Cap Guard Meets a Texas Family

The following interview occurred as a result of a Texas family contacting Cap Guard via email.


How did you find Cap Guard and what made you purchase a Cap Guard face shield?

Truly, I just searched through Google and found Cap Guard. We had previously purchased another brand. However, that other company’s product did not attach or stay on very well, so I wanted a better option and found Cap Guard. The concept of attaching the shield to the bill of a baseball cap is awesome, and I LOVE that there are individuals and companies here in the US that were thinking outside the box a bit on how to make things easier during the national emergency. I liked how it attached to the bill of the ball cap, and when we got them in the mail, I was even more pleasantly surprised at how well they attached and remained in place. Cap Guard excels over the other brand. ALSO, I LOVED that there was a kid’s size option!

A group of moms called me about my son's face shield because they were looking for other options for their little ones in elementary school. I was so excited to tell them about Cap Guard's child size shields! Suggestion: I know you have pictures of how the shield can be used in different scenarios, but I think a video would be really beneficial: work, school, shopping, a football or basketball game, teaching and allowing the kids to see the teacher's smile, and for sure include children of all sizes to show they work well for little ones too! Put that video on Facebook and I think you'd have a winner!


How old is your son and what grade is he in?
My son is a freshman; 14 at present and will be 15 soon.


Please describe how your son is faring wearing a face shield and how you feel it benefits him with communication and tolerance in school.
The Cap Guard face shield is doing quite well at keeping up with an active young man. He rides his bike to school and back including a second round trip to come home for lunch as he says he prefers mom's cooking - though I'm convinced it is more that he can have larger portions. He is a growing boy 😊 - thus the two round trips, and it is easiest to just keep the shield on while riding instead of trying to fit it in his backpack. He has no problems breathing or using peripheral vision while riding. He also takes an Engineering course that is two class periods long and says the shield works well in being able to see all the small parts and pieces. (I was worried it would be difficult to see through for such but apparently it works great). And as for being able to communicate with others, he really likes it as he says the others can see his smile and laugh.
On a side note- I am partial hearing so masks make it difficult for me to read lips and thus unable to communicate well. These shields are great for me as a mom to be able to communicate with my son when he is wearing one. He wears it to the grocery store etc, and I appreciate that. He is my shopping buddy as he is 6'4 and can reach all the top shelves! 😊 He is also my translator when I speak to others who are wearing masks. I need to see their lips, and I cannot. He is a life saver for his momma for sure. 😊

As for the toleration at school, he has never had any negative comments at all, but has received several positive comments on it. Also, I was worried that the other students and teachers might be upset that my son can wear a baseball cap to school when others cannot as there is a "no hat" policy in the district, but the superintendent did not see that to be a problem, and in fact the other kids and some of the teachers have commented positively on his choice of hat (as he does love his hats and thus wears a fun one each day from his collection). Many of the students have asked him if it would attach to his cowboy hats because they would be willing to wear a shield as well as their mask if they got to wear their cowboy hats to school, but alas it does not stay on a cowboy hat, no matter how we have tried. So, I would say the feed-back from fellow students as well as faculty has been positive.


Are other children wearing face shields at school? How about teachers?

My son has a mask exemption from the school district superintendent. We live in a smaller area and when I voiced my concerns about my son wearing a mask, the school district superintendent called me personally to see what we could work out. We decided, together, that my son would try just a shield and see how that works. And it works wonderfully! He can breathe and can wear it all day long. I know a dozen or more children in our schools (1 each elementary, middle, and high school) and others throughout the district (3 additional elementary, 2 more middle and 3 more high schools) that also have mask exemptions, and I was talking to the superintendent about how the shield will be a great middle step for all the students.

Also, the superintendent explained he has informed teachers they should wear their mask when close to the students (like 1 on 1 teaching), but if they are teaching at the front of the class, they can wear just a shield - not only to breathe - but also so the students can see their mouths. This is especially important in the elementary schools since the younger students need to see their teachers mouths to help in the learning process. I am grateful he thinks highly of our teachers, their health, and their well-being and also for the students and all the different ways we learn. So, I would LOVE to see all our teachers have a shield available to them for this purpose. We have also given out the remaining shields I purchased (I will be purchasing more for sure) so that other children could use them.  

How can Cap Guard best be of benefit to your family and the school community?
Our community is in the "green" status of the state COVID plan; we only have 4 individuals in the whole county who are active cases. My hope, and this is a personal hope, is that we will soon be able, as a school district and community, to move out of the "wearing the mask full time" level and into a middle level of wearing a face shield and then not needing anything. Your face shields are well made and last a long time. My son has worn the same Cap Guard face shield for school since August 19th using the eye glass cleaner and soft eye glass cloth to clean it daily, and it is great shape. Wouldn't it be awesome if at a basketball game we could all have our team caps on with a face shield and actually enjoy the game!

Thank you for your product ~ it is a wonderful way for students and teachers to be able to communicate with each other, be able to breathe, (even if for increments throughout the day), and still meet the Governor's mandate for mask/face coverings.

You might also wish to know my daughter, who works for a State Park, wears a Cap Guard face shield to work. She wears her State Park's ball cap, and the shield is great as tourists from throughout the States are still traveling a bit. Thus, she can communicate safely and effectively with them. There have been a few individuals visiting the State Park who have been grateful for her wearing the Cap Guard face shield  as they were deaf or hard of hearing and the shield allowed them to understand what my daughter was saying. It made their trip to the State Park easier. 😊  So many ways these shields are such a blessing! Continue reading

Cap Guard meets Speech Language Pathologist, Stacy Fonner MS, CCC-SLP

Cap Guard meets Speech Language Pathologist, Stacy Fonner MS, CCC-SLP

September 2020

 Describe your experiences thus far with evaluations and therapy sessions in which students came to your session wearing masks. Thus far I have evaluated 5 students (3 boys and 2 girls). The Speech and Language evaluations lasted anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Each one of the 3 boys took off their masks during the evaluation. The girls kept their masks on however one of the girls wore a mask that was too big and her nose often showed. The school hung a square sheet of plexi glass from the ceiling. It was in the way of trying to turn pages in the testing book.  A couple of the boys like to push the plexi glass since it swings from the ceiling. For the first evaluation, I had a terrible time reading the testing materials because my glasses fogged up.  For the articulation evaluation it was frustrating because I could not see the mouth of the student. I had no visual cues to determine placement of the student's articulators (tongue, lips).  Voiceless sounds (/s/, /sh/ /t/, /p/, /k/ and /f/ were much harder to hear especially since the building air conditioner was making noise. I was also concerned that the students were having a difficult time hearing me give the directions.  It was frustrating. 

 

How did you feel when students removed their masks or touched their faces? I expected it so I wasn't surprised. I felt badly that the students had to wear them in the first place because I know they can be uncomfortable. I especially felt bad for the student who wore glasses because his glasses were fogging up like mine were. 

 

Why is it so critical for you to be able to see a student’s mouth movement and facial expressions? Some letters make very similar sounds. Masks decrease hearing acuity.  I need to see a student's mouth to determine if they have correct tongue or lip placement. The placement of the mouth, lips or tongue gives me visual cues as to how the student is producing the sound. It is important to note if a student who is having difficulty producing sounds correctly is groping (moving their mouth repeatedly trying to produce the correct sound). It is important to note if a student who stutters is opening their mouth with no sounds coming out. Facial expressions are an important part of communication. It is our emotions that give meaning to our words. Those emotions are conveyed through facial expression, voice, and body posture. We are missing a vital component of communication when our faces are hidden. Have you ever misunderstood a text because you were missing the emotion it was sent with?  

 

Why is it so critical for a student to be able to see your mouth movement and facial expressions? Same reasons. I am communicating with my students and giving them directions or modeling the way to say something. Students who are receiving Speech Language therapy already have some kind of difficulty communicating. They can not afford to miss hearing the message because it is muffled, or miss a facial cue, or miss a visual cue of where to put their tongue or hold their mouth to correctly produce a sound. I need to determine if my student is stimulable for a sound. It is important for a student to see exactly what I am doing with my mouth and see if they can imitate it. 

 

If both SLP and student wore face shields, describe how this would improve assessments and treatment plans. Facial expressions would be visible as long as there was no fogging. Mouth posture, tongue, lips would be visible giving both therapist and student vital visual cues. Sound might not be as decreased. I hope this was helpful.

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Cap Guard meets Special Education, Middle School Teacher, Thomas Bucci

Cap Guard meets Special Education, Middle School Teacher, Thomas Bucci

September 2020

Describe your teaching background and experience:  I have been teaching special education since February, 2001. I started at Eastampton Middle School and joined Southern Regional School District September, 2002. 

What concerns do you have about returning back to school and the risks of COVID-19 transmission? Just like everyone else. I don't want to get sick. I also don't want to get anyone else sick. I am concerned that we will have another rise in cases and then go back to being remote. 

How do you feel your students will tolerate wearing a mask for a full day of school? I think some students will be fine with it, but others are going to have a difficult time wearing it all day long. Right now our school has allowed teachers that have hall duty to give kids breaks and allow them to go outside if needed throughout the day. 

Teachers that have returned to school have already complained about chapped faces and lips, hoarse voices, facial breakouts, and dehydration from not drinking enough as it’s hard to sip water while wearing a mask. Which of these (one, some, or all) present concerns to you? All of those are concerns of mine. I am a big proponent of staying hydrated and drinking lots of water throughout the day. I had to wear a mask yesterday for most of the day and my voice is a little hoarse from it already.  I know that all of us are trying to do our best for the students and ourselves - it's just the unknown that is concerning and how are we going to make this work?

How do you feel about the risk of students touching their faces and possibly self-infecting as a result? I think just like everything else it's trying to make them aware of not doing it. It's a concern for sure, but just like everything right now - it's finding new habits or fixing our old ones. I know that I am. I am more aware of the fact when I touch my nose, eyes, or face now more than ever. 

Why is it important for you to be able to see student’s full facial expressions and lip movements, meaning verbal and non-verbal communication, while teaching? Facial expressions are a key component to learning and communicating. Wearing a mask takes a lot of that personal expression away from everyone. Sometimes students will make face or give you a certain look when they don't understand something or when they finally comprehend a topic, I am not sure that we are going to see that now (wearing masks) as teachers and might move on without answering their questions or feeling the satisfaction of them understanding what you are teaching. 

Why is it important for the student to be able to see your full facial expressions and lip movements, meaning verbal and non-verbal communication, while teaching? I think expressions such as a smile or a silly face are a personal side to teaching that we enjoy seeing and sharing from our students. Not being able to see or express those cues while wearing a mask is going to be difficult. I think we grow up seeing doctors, dentists or others wearing masks in an environment that isn't very welcoming or a place you don't want to be. School isn't supposed to be that way. It's supposed to be enjoyable and a place you want to feel a part of at all times. Now, if everyone has a mask on, it changes the dynamic and feel of the room or building. 

Face shields are 100% recyclable, re-usable, and easily sanitized between uses with warm water and antibacterial soap. Face shields also retain less facial heat; eye-glasses won’t fog, and one is less likely to touch their face.  They are also tolerated longer. As a teacher, which aspects of a face shield are most important to you and why?  I feel like our biggest advantage as teachers is connecting with a student and sometimes words aren't necessary. It's just like in sports where you don't have to say anything to communicate with your teammates. It's a look or expression on your face that allows for comprehension. If you're wearing a mask it takes that away. I find myself just walking around, and I like to say hi to people or smile at them. You don't know what someone is doing underneath a mask. Reading someone's eyes isn't as easy as a smile or a frown. 

If you (teacher) and students wore face shields instead of masks, how would the teaching experience differ in your opinion? I do feel that it would be different. I think that it would allow the same environment that we are all used to as opposed to wearing a mask or covering on your face which has become our "new norm. With all that has gone on since March (2020), some students just want to see their teacher’s and friend’s faces. That's not going to be possible with everyone wearing a mask or a covering. The "new norm" isn't personal. It's strictly for safety and I get it, but it takes away the personal touch element away from everything. We have already been in isolation for long enough. Students want to feel welcomed with a smile or a laugh. Two things that can't be seen underneath a mask. 

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Cap Guard Meets Michelle Breitweiser, MS, CCC-SLP



Cap Guard Meets Michelle Breitweiser, MS, CCC-SLP

September 2020

 

 

Tell me about your professional background and experience. I have been a school based SLP for 7 years. (About to start my 8th) I began my career in Bel Air, Maryland and worked in Harford County Public School before relocating back to NJ where I grew up! This is my 3rd year working at Southern Regional Middle School. I have worked at all levels of schooling. Early intervention (birth to 3), elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. I have worked with a wide variety of students with various disabilities.

 

What concerns do you have about returning back to school and the risks of COVID-19 transmission?

I have many fears and concerns about returning to school this year. I have a one year old at home so of course keeping him safe and healthy is my number one priority. Southern is planning a hybrid return to school this year, which in my opinion is very smart. We are a large district and splitting the days the students come in will help reduce class sizes and crowded hallways. Parents also have the option to have their kid be virtual only. Southern has been doing a great job following CDC guidelines and making sure everyone is safe. Other concerns of mine are regarding my small office space, group sessions, managing and creating a schedule that works, fitting in my virtual sessions, and assessing students. 

 

Teachers and SLP’s that have returned to school and are wearing masks all day have already complained about chapped faces and lips, hoarse voices, facial breakouts, and dehydration from not drinking enough as it’s hard to sip water while wearing a mask. Which of these (one, some, or all) present concerns to you? Most of them are concerning to me.

 

How do you feel about the risk of students touching their faces and possibly self-infecting as a result?

It is inevitable that students will touch their faces. I am just constantly encouraging them to use hand sanitizer or to wash their hands.

 

If you have done any assessments or therapy since March, describe your experiences thus far with evaluations and therapy sessions in which students came to your session wearing masks.

I worked the ESY program in July and August. I provided speech therapy to middle school and high school students. I was set up in a large classroom with plexiglass and cleaning supplies. The students sat behind plexiglass and wore masks. After every speech session our custodial staff would come and clean the desks and plexiglass. I felt very safe.

 

Did the students eventually fidget with and/or remove their masks, and how did you feel when students removed their masks or touched their faces? To my surprise, most of the students were okay with wearing their masks. They had fun masks with their favorite characters or cartoons, which led to great conversation topics. Some students needed reminders to keep their masks up, but they almost always complied with the direction.

 

Why is it so critical for you to be able to see a student’s mouth movement and facial expressions?

When working on a student’s articulation of speech it is very important to see their oral structures to witness how and why they may be producing a sound incorrectly.

 

Why is it so critical for a student to be able to see your mouth movement and facial expressions?

A large part of speech therapy is providing a model for the student to copy/imitate. It is crucial when working on articulation of speech for a student to see and observe the SLPs mouth and oral mechanisms.

 

If both SLP and student wore face shields, describe how this would improve assessments and treatment plans. Having a clear face shield for both SLP and student would greatly benefit during this time. Having the students see my mouth and being able to see the student’s mouth would be ideal. It may take a longer amount of time to master a goal if both the SLP and student have coverings/masks over their mouths. A face covering with no visibility to mouth movements make speech therapy very challenging. Some kids rely on lip movements and facial expressions to effectively communicate with others.

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Cap Guard Meets Shannon Wooten, M.A., CCC-SLIP, CBIS

Cap Guard Meets Shannon Wooten, M.A., CCC-SLIP, CBIS

September 2020

 

 

Tell me about your professional background and experience. I have been a Speech-Language Pathologist for six years and have worked a wide variety of settings including schools, post-acute rehabilitation, acute care hospital setting, inpatient rehabilitation, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, private outpatient clinic, and home and communication rehabilitation for patients with brain injuries.  I am a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. I have worked with all ages and a plethora of diagnoses. I specialized in NICU feeding and neurodevelopmental therapy and adult brain injury rehabilitation. 

 

What concerns do you have about working as an SLP and the risks of COVID-19 transmission? A lot of what we do as an SLP involves putting ourselves and our patients in a high-risk situation for COVID-19 transmission. We are typically in a relatively small space, in close proximity and are talking loudly, or singing, or working very close to the patient's mouth for dysphagia therapy for an extended amount of time. This is a perfect storm for COVID-19 transmission for both the patient and the therapist. The last thing we want to do is spread this illness to our, oftentimes, sick and vulnerable patients or to our families. 

 

SLP’s who are wearing masks all day have already complained about chapped faces and lips, hoarse voices, facial breakouts, and dehydration from not drinking enough as it’s hard to sip water while wearing a mask. Which of these (one, some, or all) present concerns to you? I find that I am significantly less hydrated when I have to wear a mask. I have also experienced increased mouth breathing, dry mouth, chapped lips and face breakouts. 

 

How do you feel about the risk of face touching and possibly self-infecting as a result? In general, people touch their face so often without thinking about it. I've learned to wear my hair back and make sure my glasses fit snugly in order to reduce my tendency to touch my face, but it is certainly an easy way to self-infect without even thinking about it. 

 

Describe your experiences thus far with evaluations and therapy sessions in which patients came to your session wearing masks. At the clinic I currently work at, I treat both adult and pediatric clients. My adult clients usually wear a mask, unless we are working on swallowing therapy, but most of my pediatric clients do not. I wear a surgical mask at all times. I have had to get creative on how to give my clients the visual cues that I normally give when I say, "Watch my mouth." I do not feel that it is as effective to use pictures or videos for modeling, but everyone's safety is the highest priority right now. 

 

Did the patients eventually fidget with and/or remove their masks, and how did you feel when patients removed their masks or touched their faces? The clients who are wearing masks when they come in, often remove them because they become frustrated with trying to keep it in place as they are talking. I know that the risk of spreading disease is higher when one or more parties is not wearing a face covering, so it does make me feel a little more anxious when they take their mask off. However, I clean my therapy room and surfaces before and after each client so I feel slightly less worried about touch contamination when they are touching surfaces and then their mask or visa versa. 

 

Why is it so critical for you to be able to see a patient’s mouth movement and facial expressions? Almost every aspect of what SLPs evaluate and treat is directly related to the mouth. It is crucial to examine a patient's mouth to look for structural and functional differences and to be able to evaluate feeding skills, articulation skills, and much more. There is so much visual information that we are analyzing in a patient's mouth and face. 

 

Why is it so critical for a patient to be able to see your mouth movement and facial expressions? It is equally important for the patient to see our mouth and face when we provide treatment. We often model tongue, lip, and teeth placement for particular sounds or demonstrate exercises with our mouths for dysphagia therapy. This is even more important when we are working with patients who also have language deficits and need the visual cues to help with comprehension. 

 

If both SLP and patients wore face shields, describe how this would improve assessments and treatment plans. If both patient and therapist wore a face shield, speech therapy would essentially function the same as before the pandemic, which is the most ideal, but would also allow for some protection from the spread of COVID-19.  

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Benefits of Cap Guard and Kids Cap Guard in the Speech Pathologist Setting

Benefits of Cap Guard and Kids Cap Guard in the Speech Pathologist Setting

Cap Guard is a School Solutions partner with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, providing COVID-19 protective resources for students and teachers.

                                            

Cap Guard supports the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a proud sponsor of ASHA’s national conference, “Practical Solutions for Elementary Assessment, Treatment, and Collaboration,” for school-based Speech Language Pathologists.

                               

 

Cap Guard goes to the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)

Educators, administrators, and speech language pathologists across the country are struggling with the changes associated with returning to school. Social distancing, hand washing, and acrylic barriers are not the only agenda. Speech language pathologists question how they will be able to effectively assess and treat returning students in an environment where wearing of masks and social distancing of six feet are required. Speech and language problems are formidable problems for students making it difficult for a child to learn in school. Speech language pathologists (SLP’s) help a child succeed.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) identifies the following communication problems in school which are treated by speech language pathologists:

  • Speech Sounds. Trouble saying sounds, not speaking clearly, being hard to understand.
  • Language and literacy. Trouble with understanding what one hears, may not follow directions or answer questions well, hard to communicate thoughts saying only short sentences and not using correct words.
  • Social communication. Trouble talking with other children, difficulty making friends, difficulty understanding what others think or feel.
  • Cognitive communication. These are the thinking skills a child needs to remember, solve problems, and use imagination. Learning disabilities can be a factor.
  • Feeding and swallowing. May not sound like a school-based problem, but it can make it hard for a child to eat and drink enough during the day. That can affect learning. It can make important social times, like lunch or snack, harder for a child.
  • Stuttering. Trouble speaking smoothly, repeating sounds or words or long pause when talking. Makes it hard to answer questions or give speeches in class. It can also make it hard to talk to friends.
  • Voice. Child may sound hoarse or lose voice, child may sound like they talk through their nose, voice too loud or soft. All make it hard to talk in class or with friends.

ASHA makes the following statement regarding school age children in its format Speech and Language Services in Schools, “You need language skills to communicate. And you need to communicate to learn. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. The better your communication skills, the better you will do in school.”

 

Cap Guard facilitates student assessment

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics define the duties and responsibilities of speech language pathologists, “The role of speech therapists in schools is to assess the individual needs of students and design programs to best aid students with language and speech problems.” Assessment can involve an Oral Motor Exam (OME.) This is done to assess the anatomical structure of the mouth such as teeth, tongue, palate, tonsils, velum, and uvula. An SLP will also have the child perform oral motor tasks like smile, pout lips, stick tongue out and move it in different positions and puff out their cheeks. These exercises evaluate specific function and oral motor coordination. The SLP might also utilize the Diadochokinetic Rate (DDK) by having the child repeat “puh”, “tuh”, “kuh” rapidly to assess oral motor coordination. These assessment tools require a clear view of the child’s face and external and internal views of the child’s mouth which can be inhibited by wearing of a mask.

Stacy Fonner, M.S. CCC-SLP, a professional with more than 15 years of school-based Speech Language Pathologist experience in southern New Jersey described the following after attempting to conduct assessments wearing a mask along with her students, “Thus far I have evaluated 5 students (3 boys and 2 girls). The Speech and Language evaluations lasted anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Each one of the 3 boys took off their masks during the evaluation. The girls kept their masks on however one of the girls wore a mask that was too big, and her nose often showed. The school hung a square sheet of plexi-glass from the ceiling. It was in the way of trying to turn pages in the testing book.  A couple of the boys like to push the plexi-glass since it swings from the ceiling. For the first evaluation, I had a terrible time reading the testing materials because my glasses fogged up. For the articulation evaluation it was frustrating because I could not see the mouth of the student. I had no visual cues to determine placement of the student's articulators (tongue, lips).  Voiceless sounds (/s/, /sh/ /t/, /p/, /k/ and /f/ were much harder to hear especially since the building air conditioner was making noise.  I was also concerned that the students were having a difficult time hearing me give the directions. It was frustrating.” 

Many educators and SLP’s have expressed concerns children will not be able to wear face masks for a full day nor will face masks permit students, SLP’s and teachers to see each other’s faces. Cap Guard and Kid’s Cap Guard offer a solution that provides the best of both worlds, a 100% recyclable and easily sanitized face shield that clips to any baseball cap or visor. The Cap Guard shield provides a barrier that protects both parties engaged in communication while permitting full visibility of face expressions and lip movement. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently conducted a policy review to support local jurisdictions and school administrators in their planning. Face shields were recommended as an option for reopening Pennsylvania Schools, “Face shields do provide a partial barrier to respiratory droplets and may be considered in classroom environments or situations where masking may interfere with teacher instruction OR when distancing (less than 6 feet) cannot be adequately achieved.”   

 

Cap Guard facilitates better SLP treatment plans

Once the SLP has determined the type of communication disorder, a therapeutic treatment plan is put into place that can be accomplished in the classroom, in a small group, or on a one-to-one basis. An article in Healthline described several speech therapy activities, “During speech therapy for children, the SLP may: interact through talking and playing, and using books, pictures, other objects as part of language intervention to help stimulate language development; model correct sounds and syllables for a child during age-appropriate play to teach the child how to make certain sounds.” Thus, it is absolutely critical that SLP and student are able to see each other’s full facial expressions clearly.

Stacy Fonner MS, CCC-SLP offered the following regarding the importance of being able to see a student’s face and mouth clearly during treatment, “Some letters make very similar sounds. Masks decrease hearing acuity.  I need to see a student's mouth to determine if they have correct tongue or lip placement. The placement of the mouth, lips or tongue gives me visual cues as to how the student is producing the sound. It is important to note if a student who is having difficulty producing sounds correctly is groping (moving their mouth repeatedly trying to produce the correct sound). It is important to note if a student who stutters is opening their mouth with no sounds coming out. Facial expressions are an important part of communication. It is our emotions that give meaning to our words. Those emotions are conveyed through facial expression, voice, and body posture. We are missing a vital component of communication when our faces are hidden. Have you ever misunderstood a text because you were missing the emotion it was sent with?”  

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community supports the need for face shields for clearer understanding of spoken communication. “The use of a face shield is also a reminder to maintain social distancing, but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.”

 

Cap Guard face shield protects

There are ample supportive sources for the efficacy of face shields as part of an overall strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community setting. A recent article in Parents Magazine offered, “Usually made from plastic, face shields create a barrier over a person’s entire face… Shields don’t directly touch the face … This design might feel more comfortable for kids … COVID-19 transmits mainly through respiratory droplets that might enter through the mucous membranes of the eyes. Unlike face masks, shields create a protective barrier over the eyes; The see-through exterior makes communication easier for the deaf population, as well as kids with special needs and learning disorders; Wearers don’t need to adjust shields as often as face masks. Less contact with the face means fewer chances of COVID-19 transmission; Face shields can be washed and re-worn.”  William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist and Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine states, “A face shield provides a barrier for anything going out, but also for things going in.” Eli N. Perencevich, M.D., M.S., Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine recently wrote on the efficacy of face shields, “They are comfortable to wear, protect the portals of viral entry, and reduce the potential for autoinoculation by preventing the wearer from touching their face.” In a recent interview, Perencevich went on to say “… face shields are both source control and protecting yourself from the droplets landing anywhere on your face." 

 

Conclusion

The school-based SLP treats a wide range of speech and language delays and disorders in children. With early intervention, speech therapy can improve communication and increase self-confidence. The ability for an SLP and a student to see each other’s facial expressions and mouth movements are essential. Stacy Fonner MS CCC-SLP reinforces this premise, “I am communicating with my students and giving them directions or modeling the way to say something. Students who are receiving Speech Language therapy already have some kind of difficulty communicating. They can not afford to miss hearing the message because it is muffled, or miss a facial cue, or miss a visual cue of where to put their tongue or hold their mouth to correctly produce a sound.”

Cap Guard face shields facilitate the effectiveness of school-based SLP student assessments and treatment plans while providing a personal barrier to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID in the community setting.

Cap Guard is an innovative patent pending product manufactured in the United States that is 100% recyclable, can be washed daily with antibacterial soap, and mounts with live hinge clips to caps or visors that can convey school imagery. Wall mounts are available for ease of storage and distribution.

Cap Guard is a School Solutions partner with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, providing COVID-19 protective resources for students and teachers.

Cap Guard supports the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a proud sponsor of ASHA’s national conference, “Practical Solutions for Elementary Assessment, Treatment, and Collaboration,” for school-based Speech Language Pathologists.

 

For further information visit www.capguard.us

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Case Study: Cap Guard Goes to Court – The Basketball Kind

Case Study: Cap Guard Goes to Court – The Basketball Kind

Case Study: Cap Guard Goes to Court – The Basketball Kind

 About Cap Guard

Cap Guard and Kid’s Cap Guard offer face shield solutions and are part of the strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community setting.  The innovative and patent pending Cap Guard face shield provides an environmentally hygienic barrier that protects parties engaged in communication while permitting full visibility of facial expressions and lip movement.

Many epidemiologists support the use of face shields as a face covering.  Eli N. Perencevich, M.D., M.S., Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, recently gave an interview in which he said, “…face shields are both source control and protecting yourself from the droplets (respiratory) landing anywhere on your face.”   William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine states, “A face shield provides a barrier for anything going out, but also for things going in.” Another supportive observation comes from Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr. Adalja feels face shields have the potential to be more effective than face masks alone because, “…people are much less likely to touch their face when wearing a face shield. They can also be taken off and cleaned. In many ways, they’re a much more attractive option.”

Sourced and manufactured in the United States, Cap Guard and Kid’s Cap Guard are 100% recyclable, re-usable, and can be easily sanitized by hand washing with antibacterial soap. The optically clear and scratch resistant shield mounts with live hinge clips to caps or visors that can convey a logo, mascot, or imagery. For further information visit www.capguard.com

 

About Olakunle Ekundare and Prime Time Basketball

Married, the father of two, and well known in youth sports, Olakunle Ekundare attained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and his Executive MBA from Temple University. Still active in adult recreational leagues, Ekundare has coached youth soccer, is currently on the staff at the Auerbach School Basketball Camp (summer), and runs Prime Time Basketball, a large youth recreational basketball program in southern New Jersey. He has been an active coach in youth sports for more than fifteen years and can be frequently heard telling parents that his driving source of motivation is to instill the love of the game in the next generation.

Prime Time Basketball is a highly recognized youth program which emphasizes conduct on and off the court with the founding principles of discipline, respect, and determination. At its core philosophy is the belief that children will best learn the game of basketball, as part of a diverse team, when the environment afforded by the coaches is both structured and nurturing. Highly successful, Prime Time Basketball contains 5 age divisions with many teams in each division.

 

 

Problem posed to Cap Guard’s Team

COVID-19 shut down youth sports programs nationwide before spring season 2020 began, and most summer programs remained closed as well. Children have been homebound for months and social distancing and the fear of infection has reduced socialization to immediate family and maybe a neighborhood friend or two.

COVID-19 cases are spiking once again, and children returning to school has become a difficult decision for municipalities and parents alike. Parents of children who have participated in school and recreational organized youth sports leagues are increasingly worried about the risks of virus transmission as a consequence of their child returning to play – more so now than they were earlier in the pandemic.

“It is striking how quickly parents have reevaluated their priorities for their children in youth sport,” said Dr. Travis Dorsch, study director and founding director of the Families in Sport Lab at Utah State University. “Although parents held high hopes at the initial stages of the pandemic for a relatively quick return to normal, the extension of youth sport-related restrictions into the summer seems to have parents rethinking the widely accepted model of competitive youth sport in America.”

Jon Solomon, Editorial Director, Sports and Society Program at the Aspen Institute recently published a survey which showed six out of ten parents view their child getting sick as a barrier to resuming sports, and five out of ten worry their child will get them sick.

Prime Time Basketball faces the same medical and emotional impediments as it looks to open registration for the coming fall season. “We would like to get the kids playing again,” said Director Ekundare, “Maybe not games yet that involve other teams, but at least some form of structured practices. Kids need that socialization and most certainly the exercise. My main concern is how do we engage the kids again in the safest environment possible for them, my coaches, and of course, all the families involved.”

 

Solution afforded by the Cap Guard Shield

Olakunle Ekundare trialed the Cap Guard face shield on the court. “Cap Guard piqued my interest as something I could use in the leagues that I play in, but also as something which could be used with the youth in our recreational programs.  During this time (COVID-19) I'm looking at options which would keep our players and coaches as safe as possible,” said Ekundare.

Since the innovative Cap Guard shield attaches with patent pending live hinge clips to any cap or visor brim with an apex several inches from one’s face, there is ample room for eyeglasses, “With my prescription glasses, the Cap Guard still felt very comfortable. In fact, I thought there could be an opportunity to get it closer to my face, but upon further consideration, I find that it is properly placed,” observed Ekundare.

Masks are found discarded on sidewalks and parking lots, and eventually they will show up around schools and sports facilities. They are potential contact source points for Covid-19, and the re-use of such is not advised per CDC recommendations as efficacy rapidly declines. In addition, all masks are not created equal, and many masks are sold with ventilation ports to reduce facial heat issues rendering them completely useless as a protective viral barrier. The Cap Guard face shield, the clear choice alternative as part of an overall strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community setting, provides several constants that obvert these issues. “The re-usablility and easy sanitization of the Cap Guard are two factors which make them appealing for youth programs,” said Ekundare. 

 

Results and Conclusion from implementing the Cap Guard face shield

“After using Cap Guard myself, I think it would be great for non-contact sports and individual agility/workout sessions.  I believe these sessions would have to limited in participants but with leveraging the cap guards it would improve the experience.  One of the advantages of the Cap Guard is that it doesn't muffle one’s voice and does not feel as constrictive as other face coverings,” observed Ekundare.

“A cap, and maybe specifically a visor, would be great not only for teams but for other organizations leveraging the cap guard,” offered Ekundare when discussing building a sense of team unity.Within our youth program, I could see the Cap Guard being utilized during our individual and group workout sessions by the participants and the coaches.”

“I found the Cap Guard to be secure. In fact, it is still attached to the cap I wore during the workout. I didn't find it to feel unstable,” summarized Ekundare. “The clear face shield gives a sense of added freedom particularly during a workout.  Initially I thought the Cap Guard would limit my ability to do certain things/movements, however it did not get in the way at all.  During an individual workout, I find this to be an awesome product.” 

For further information, visit www.capguard.us

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Benefits of Cap Guard in the Security Industry

Benefits of Cap Guard in the Security Industry


Benefits of Cap Guard in the Security Industry

Cap Guard protects personnel in high contact occupations

It is estimated the security industry in the United States has grown to a $350 billion dollar market with $282 billion dollars in the private sector and another $69 billion spent by the Federal Government with a combined employment of over two million security personnel.

It is an industry known for high social contact. On average, prior to the pandemic, TSA workers processed over 2.5 million people through our nation’s airports daily. Security personnel, across a variety of sectors, are struggling with effective ways to protect themselves and those with whom they come in contact, while balancing between employer, municipal, State, and Federal regulations which are, at most times, conflicting. Many security personnel are wearing masks to serve as face coverings, either self-supplied or supplied by an employer – all with varying degrees of effectiveness and re-use due to continuing periodic PPE shortages. Other than the medical industry N95 mask standard, everything else is not created equal.

Cap Guard face shields, sourced and manufactured in the United States of 100% recyclable and FDA compliant mounts with innovative patent pending live hinge clips to and brim on a visor or baseball style cap. The optically clear lens is made is thermoformed, highly-durable, scratch resistant plastic. Providing an environmental hygienic social barrier, Cap Guard shields cover one’s full face and the apex curve permits the wearer to safely wear eyeglasses that won’t fog. They are also re-usable and easily sanitized. A face shield is an acceptable form of face covering and can assist in reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus in the community setting.

Eli N. Perencevich, M.D., M.S., Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, recently gave an interview in which he said, “…face shields are both source control and protecting yourself from the droplets (respiratory) landing anywhere on your face.” Perencevich recently wrote additional commentary on the efficacy of face shields, “They are comfortable to wear, protect the portals of viral entry, and reduce the potential for autoinoculation by preventing the wearer from touching their face.”  William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, states, “A face shield provides a barrier for anything going out, but also for things going in.” Another supportive observation comes from Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr. Adalja feels face shields have the potential to be more effective than face masks alone because, “…people are much less likely to touch their face when wearing a face shield. They can also be taken off and cleaned. In many ways, they’re a much more attractive option.”

 

 

 

Cap Guard facilitates immediate and effective communication

The primary role of any security specialist is the protection and safety of people. The most important interpersonal skill any security operative can possess is the ability to effectively interface and communicate. Verbal communication is a combination of chosen words, order of word delivery, modulation, tone, and inflection. Non-verbal communication is just as significant, if not more so, than verbal communication. Types of non-verbal communication include facial expressions, lip movement, arm gestures, general body language, body angle to another, and proximity of distance between two people in communication. Facial expressions are essential as they have the ability to either emphasize or emit a contradictory message to one’s verbal communication, and even when there are no words spoken.

The Cap Guard face shield is the clear choice face covering alternative that facilitates both verbal and non-verbal communication skills by permitting visibility of one’s face and all the information that can be conveyed with facial expressions and lip movement. Albert Mehrabian Ph.D., a major figure in the study of non-verbal communication, in his book Silent Messages  proffered that a total feeling between two people equaled 7% verbal feeling + 38% vocal feeling + 55% facial feeling. Simply put, one’s facial expression will always dominate and determine the impact of the total message between two parties. In an environment where face coverings are required, a face shield permits the most effective communication.

For a security specialist, communication must be fast, direct, efficient, and clear. Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., a professor emerita of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst wrote in a Psychology Today blog post, “In a time when nearly everyone is wearing some type of lower facial covering, you’re left with the need to determine how the people around you are feeling with very limited cues.” The ability for a security specialist’s face to be fully seen by the public upon initial communication is critical. 

 

Cap Guard facilitates security personnel identification

A running source of humor are memes and satire on how, as a result of wearing masks in the era of COVID-19, one can no longer get their cell phones to unlock with facial recognition. Extrapolating past cell phone inconveniences, the lack of facial recognition abilities is compromising every aspect of the security industry. “Facial recognition is a part of some security solutions, but with people wearing masks now, the technology’s effectiveness can be reduced... skeptics say that the adjustments will not be simple, since the area of the face that can be used for identification purposes is basically cut in half,” wrote Ron Hawkins, Director of Industry Relations, Security Industry Association in an article titled What COVID-19 & Masks Mean for the Security Industry.

With nearly everyone required to wear masks indoors and many choosing to do such voluntarily in areas where regulations are less stringent, it’s become much harder to verify another’s identity, and even to verify the security specialist’s identity. Photographic ID worn on lanyards around the security specialist’s neck are rendered almost useless when the specialist is wearing a mask that covers more than half of their face. This corresponding conflict in immediate confirmation of identification is rife for escalation in situations that require instant recognition of parties and effective directive communication. One needs to be able to positively recognize the security specialist and hear verbal commands clearly upon emission.

The Cap Guard face shield provides for a complete facial view that can be instantly compared to a suspended photographic ID and permits full visibility of the security specialist’s lip movements so there is no confusion who is speaking and possibly giving directives in a time of urgency.

 

Cap Guard goes to the airport

The security specialists with the TSA have been hard hit by COVID-19. As front-line personnel, they interact with a high volume of the public daily not only in social situations, but also in direct contact with a person’s personal items and body. The numbers reflect such. An article in Government Executive by Eric Katz on July 17, 2020 states “Nearly 1% of all federal personnel have tested positive for the virus. This comes as thousands of federal workers who had been teleworking from the outset of the pandemic are heading back to their offices, while many more have continued reporting to their normal duty stations without interruption.” The numbers for the front-line TSA workers is nearly double that of other Federal Agencies. About 2% of TSA’s workforce has tested positive for COVID-19, and cases have more than doubled in July alone at a time when air travel is increasing, and TSA has walked back its policy of allowing employees to take paid administrative leave if they felt unsafe reporting to work. Cases of Florida based TSA workers testing positive now account for more than 17% of all TSA’s positive test.

The TSA launched its “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” Campaign which modified airport checkpoints as a way to contain the spread of COVID-19, comply with CDC guidelines, and support healthy and secure travel. “TSA remains committed to the health and safety of our frontline workers and airline travelers,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We anticipate these prudent changes in our screening procedures, which seek to limit physical contact and increase physical distance, will achieve the security standard the public expects and facilitate the increasing population of travelers this summer.”

TSA officers wear masks, change gloves with each passenger, and of note, have the optional ability to wear face shields.

Conclusion

Security specialists are tasked with the primary responsibility of keeping others safe while coming into a higher volume of contact with the public than people in other occupations. As a consequence, they are front-line workers facing a higher risk of infection. In addition, security specialists must be able to effectively communicate verbally and non-verbally, and also must be able to be instantly recognized as security personnel with comparison to a photographic ID which can be compromised by wearing a mask. All masks are not created equal and some may pose a higher risk of infection when one considers the amount of public contact some security specialists encounter. "People who wear these homemade cloth masks are invariably touching their face constantly to adjust it, and we know that touching your face is one routine mechanism for infecting you. People are much less likely to touch their face when wearing a face shield. They can also be taken off and cleaned. In many ways, they’re a much more attractive option." (Amesh Adalja M.D., Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.)

Another supportive opinion is expressed by Keith Kaye, M.D., a professor of medicine and director of research for the division of infectious diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Shields come with the perk of being easily sanitized and reused…Unlike masks, clear shields also allow for better communication -- people can read facial expressions, and those who are hearing impaired can read lips… I do think we're going to see more and more face shield use, particularly as COVID continues to cause problems.” (WebMD News Brief, May 29, 2020, Face Shields May BE Next Step to Prevent COVID-19)

Cap Guard is being considered by security specialists nationwide. It is new to the market at a time when the security industry is dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 and having to comply with new regulations and restrictions. Cap Guard is an innovative patent pending product that is 100% recyclable. It is manufactured in the United States and can be washed and sanitized daily with antibacterial soap and mounts with live hinge clips to caps or visors that can convey brand logo or imagery. Cap Guard face shields are the clear choice for a face covering alternative as part of an overall strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community setting. For further information visit www.capguard.us

 

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