Is Getting A Massage Risky?

Is Getting A Massage Risky?
In our series "What's the Risk?", experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have, too. Julie Romero emailed us asking: "I’d like to know what my risks are of getting COVID-19 during a massage if both are wearing masks and the room is sanitized?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Cleveland Clinic; Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine.

 Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 from getting a massage is medium.

"If both the person having the massage and some person who's giving them massage are wearing masks. It should be fine. You should be able to manage that again as long as ... your region has reached a point of stability with the decrease in cases. If you're still going up, not a great time to be doing that," Hafiz said.

"What will be important as you want to make sure that your massage therapist has some sort of a process in place to make sure that people coming in are not sick and that they also have a way to monitor themselves, that they are also not sick. Because more than likely, you would be in a smaller room with that massage therapist, which would put you at higher risk," Cary said.

"When you're talking about bringing people, two people together in very, very close proximity, ... there's risk there. If everybody's wearing a mask, it's less, but not zero. Obviously, there's, with massages, a lot of physical contact that can lead to more transmission. ... The best thing you could do is make sure you wash your hands, making sure that you you wear a mask or that at least that the individual is wearing a mask. Are the masses wearing a mask? I can't help. But I would also say that that would be at least a minimum risk. At least it's only one-on-one. Assuming that you're not getting massaged by many, many people at once," Esper said.

If you have a question about your risk, send us a video to You can see answers to other questions here