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VERIFY: Hug curtains are a thing, but do they stop the spread of coronavirus?

People have posted videos of them hugging loved ones through shower curtains, but will that stop the spread of COVID-19?

HOUSTON — In the social-distancing era, people are embracing new ways to show their affection. Some people are using a hug curtain.

But is it safe? Our Verify team was asked to look into it.

It's a movement that is capturing hearts across the country. A Louisiana woman used a plastic shower curtain as a barrier to hug her parents. The video has been shared thousands of times.

Families across the country replicated the idea by using shower curtains, PVC pipe, and disinfectant to surprise loved ones with what is now known as a “hug curtain.”

But is this safe? Our source for this is Houston Health Authority and Medical Director, Dr. David Persse.

“While I very much sympathize with the desire to embrace loved ones, especially during this challenging time, there is no adequate substitution for social distancing. A shower curtain hug, while creative, unfortunately, does not offer the level of protection needed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Although I understand the concept, a shower curtain is not personal protective equipment and using it as such includes the potential for exposure,” Persse said.

Even if you glue two curtains together for added protection, disinfect between hugs, wear a mask and social distance while you wait your turn, Persse said the risk of infection and spread is still present.

So, we can verify that hug curtains are not safe. Dr. Persse said the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to social distance, wear face coverings and practice good hygiene.

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