October 13, 2020
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the novel coronavirus, but we do know that anyone can contract COVID-19. Studies suggest that most people who get COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and can recover safely at home. However, there are certain groups of people who are at a higher risk of developing serious, even life-threatening complications. If you or a loved one are considered at-risk, there are a variety of simple but important everyday precautions you should take to stay safe. Read on as your Lincoln dentist answers five common questions about staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Is Considered At-Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults of any age are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 if they have certain underlying medical conditions such as:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Weakened immune system
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
How Do I Protect Myself & Others from COVID-19?
It’s essential for those of an increased risk and those who live with them to take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19. Some of the best ways to do this are:
- Limit your physical interactions with other people as much as possible.
- Avoid activities where social distancing would be difficult as well as people who aren’t wearing a mask.
- Wash your hands frequently and try not to touch high-traffic surfaces or items.
Which Events Are Safe to Attend During COVID-19?
If you choose to go out, there is no way to ensure you have zero risk of infection. The more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer your interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. For example:
- Lowest risk activities: virtual-only activities and gatherings.
- More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings where attendees practice social distancing, wear masks, don’t share objects, and come from the same area.
- Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that allow for social distancing between individuals who come from the same local area.
- Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings with limited social distancing and attendees from outside of the local area.
What’s the Safest Way to Get Essentials Like Food & Medications?
The less contact you have with others while obtaining essentials, the safer you are. Keep these tips in mind:
- Choose contact-free delivery for groceries, takeout, medications, and other essentials as often as possible.
- If delivery is not available, use curbside pickup and drive-thru options to minimize your exposure to others.
- If you must go inside an establishment, stay six feet away from others and don’t touch high-traffic surfaces. If possible, choose a store that offers “at-risk only” shopping hours.
Should I Still Go to My Doctor or Dentist Appointment?
If you have an upcoming appointment, call your healthcare provider. In some cases, your appointment may be postponed or changed to a tele-visit. However, some in-person visits are important to your on-going health. Your Lincoln dentist has established numerous dental safety protocols to safeguard your wellbeing during your visits, such as:
- Patient prescreening health questionnaire.
- Highly accessible hand sanitizer.
- Spaced-out appointments to allow more time and physical space between patients.
We all need to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A few simple but effective precautions like the ones above can go a long way in keeping yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe.
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Reed of Smile Specialties has been helping the smiles of Lincoln and the surrounding communities stay happy and healthy since 2002. Now and always, she ensures her practice meets and exceeds the sanitation standards set forth by the American Dental Association and the CDC. Additionally, she has added several extra measures to ensure her staff and patients are as safe as possible during every visit. If you’d like to learn more about her Commitment to Safety or what to expect from your dental appointment in COVID-19, more information can be found on her website or by calling (402) 488-5007.
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