COVID-19 primarily spreads through respiratory droplets--microscopic droplets produced when infected people breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze. These droplets can’t travel very far, which is why physical distancing is so important to prevent COVID-19 infections.
So far, we don’t have a lot of data on whether you can get COVID-19 through your eyes. Rare cases have been reported of the virus being found in people’s eyes. So it is possible you could get COVID-19 if respiratory droplets get in your eyes, or if you get the virus on your hands and touch your eyes.
Studies in hospitals suggest that wearing goggles or face shields might reduce the risk of getting other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS. But there are no studies with regular people in everyday situations to tell us whether goggles would reduce the risk of getting COVID-19.
So what should you? It won’t hurt you to wear protective eyewear if you are around someone who is sick with COVD-19. But social distancing and hand washing remain the best way to protect yourself in everyday situations.
Last update: June 9, 2020, 8:19 pm ET
Science review: ERS, JAB