How COVID-19 Spreads

There is much to learn about the newly emerged COVID-19, including how and how easily it spreads. Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.

Close contact can occur while caring for a patient, including:

  • being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a patient with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
  • having direct contact with infectious secretions from a patient with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.

How You Can Protect Yourself

  • Perform hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of PPE, including gloves. Use soap and water if hands are visibly soiled.

Office Sanitizing Procedures

Employees should be even more vigilant than usual.

  • Wash hands and use sanitizer frequently.
  • Wipe all chairs, counters, cabinets, and door handles multiple times per day with sanitizing wipes.
  • Patients in respiratory distress should be reported immediately to the physician in your office.
  • Wear gloves when touching a patient or anything that has touched a patient, including wraps and clothing. Dispose of gloves frequently.
  • Do not touch office surfaces with gloved hands. Remove gloves and re-glove after. This includes opening drawers or cabinets in treatment rooms.
  • Universal contact precautions should be used without discretion.
  • Please ask patients to KEEP the pens they use to fill out paperwork or sign items.


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