What's The Risk Of Getting COVID-19 Working As A Dental Hygienist?

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What's The Risk Of Getting COVID-19 Working As A Dental Hygienist?
In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Andrea Elliot asks: 

"I’m a dental hygienist and am wondering what’s the risk of returning to normal and seeing patients during a normal cleaning appointment?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, an infectious disease physician and chief medical officer for Northwestern Medicine's northwest region; Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Jasmine Marcelin, an infectious disease specialist at Nebraska Medicine.

 Their take — contracting COVID-19 going back to work as a dental hygienist is medium risk. 

"Going back to work, there should be certain precautions put in place at all offices that will lower the risk. Definitely talk to your employer about what needs to be put in place to provide protection to the hygienist so that you can make sure that everybody stays well," Cary said.

"If you are preparing for this, then I would recommend finding videos online of how to properly put on and take off N95 masks to minimize contamination of yourself," Dr. Marcelin said. 

"We're really looking at your local, state government and what the recommendations are, and their public health department is going to be important with what is feasible," Dr. Hafiz said. 

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