Covid 19 qa

Covid-19 Q&A

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Are N95 masks going to be the standard of care?

Dental:  The highest rated masks generally recommended for use in dental settings are N95 respirators, which are evaluated, tested, and approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a part of the CDC. N95 respirators filter at least 95% of airborne particles. They should be used when treating patients with or suspected of having respiratory illnesses. However, most dental practices should not need N95 respirators except perhaps for emergency treatments – with proper triaging, the treatment of patients presenting with symptoms of respiratory illnesses should be postponed until a later time when they have fully recovered. Interim guidelines state that the highest level of PPE should be available when treating patients.

Medical:  Medical staff working in a medical office need to wear a mask when seeing patients for appointments. A surgical face mask is appropriate to wear. The highest level of PPE should be available when treating patients.

Are face shields to be a standard of care and do these need to be disposed of between patients?

If risk is inherent, the appropriate mask, along with safety glasses with side shields or goggles and face shields, should be worn. Face shields need to be wiped down (cleaned) and disinfected in between each patient.

Can I use hand sanitizer in between patients if my hands are not soiled during this COVID pandemic?

Yes, unless soap and water are not available. Wash your hands after each patient for no less than 20 seconds

How should PPE be disposed of after examining a patient?

If the disposable PPE is not visibly soiled with bodily fluids or splatter, then disposable PPE can be discarded in the regular trash. If the PPE is visibly soiled and/or has splatter on it, it needs to be disposed of in the appropriately marked Biohazard container.

Is COVID-19 airborne?

You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 meter of a person. Practicing “social distancing” is the key. COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.


How long can COVID live on surfaces, such as a countertop or exam chair/table?

Studies and preliminary information suggest it may last on surfaces for a few hours or for up to several days. There is more to learn, such as how different conditions, such as exposure to sunlight, heat, or cold, can affect these survival times.

How do I know I have disinfected an exam room properly during the COVID pandemic?

Using an EPA-registered disinfectant product is best. Always be aware of the kill time for the product in use. This will insure proper disinfection. This should be documented in your infection control protocol.

Can my companion animal spread COVID-19?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.

What is the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the new coronavirus that is called SARS-CoV-2, or sometimes just “novel coronavirus”.

Who should be tested for the coronavirus disease?

Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.

What is the incubation period of the coronavirus disease?

Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.

Can you contract the coronavirus disease by touching a surface?

People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

Fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties are the most common symptoms. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and even death.

Is there a vaccine for the coronavirus disease?

No, not currently. However, there are vaccines and drugs currently under investigation.

Where can I find the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Poster?

You can find the FFCRA poster in forms on your compliance portal at