As together we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Hockey has been asked if wearing a helmet with a full clear shield is better than a visor (half shield) or cage. In addition, many are asking about players wearing a face mask to cover their mouth/nose while practicing or in games. Below is information that we hope is helpful.
HELMETS –FULL CLEAR SHIELD vs. HALF SHIELD OR CAGE
There is no scientific proof that a full clear shield on a hockey helmet provides better protection against infectious diseases compared to a visor (half shield) or cage. That being said, a full clear shield is likely better than a visor (half shield) or cage, as it:
1. Can act as a barrier in case someone in close proximity coughs or sneezes,
2. May be a deterrent to decrease touching of the face (vs. cages where players stick their fingers through the cage),
3. Likely to prevent spitting on the ice/bench (should be enforced regardless).
It should be noted that a full clear shield will not prevent the inhalation of aerosolized droplets, and it is important that, regardless of what kind of mask a player wears, it be cleaned thoroughly after each use.
MASKS TO COVER MOUTH/NOSE
As for face masks to cover your mouth and nose, the CDC does not currently recommend those be used during physical activity.