COVID-19 Cross-Contamination Tips from Our Novato Dentists

Written by Dr. McConnell on Apr 20, 2020

Small Steps to Help You Stay Safe

As you deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Novato dental team is here help you minimize your risk of contracting COVID. We have put together this short primer about easy things you can do to protect yourself. We hope that you find this helpful, and we encourage you to reach out to our team if you have any questions!

COVID-19 infects your lungs through your nose or mouth. This virus is transmitted from person to person through both direct contact and surface contact. Part of what makes COVID-19 so contagious is that it is able to stay alive and transmittable for days at time on surfaces like countertops, door handles, and TV remotes.


  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day: especially before you eat, and after you have been out to the store or running errands.


  • When you wash your hands, make sure that you are using soap and cleaning your hands for at least twenty seconds.


  • Carry disinfectant wipes with you when you leave the house. Take the time to disinfect handles, doorknobs, gas nozzles, light switches etc. when you’re out and about.


  • Keep hand sanitizer with you—in your car or in your purse. Look for a hand sanitizer that is least 60% alcohol for a maximum effectiveness. You can also keep hand sanitizer near all of your house’s entrances and exits to make sure you’re disinfecting your hands regularly.


  • Zinc lozenges have been shown to inhibit the virus’s growth, so stock up now on cough drops that include zinc.


There are also some simple behavioral changes that you can make to protect yourself.


  • Only leave your house for essential tasks, like grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments.


  • For the time being, do not shake hands with other people. It is better to use a fist bump, elbow bump, or simple wave to greet someone.


  • Get into the habit of using your elbow or knuckle to open doors, turn on lights, and press buttons.


  • Wear latex/nitrile gloves when you’re outside of the home. Remove and dispose of the gloves before you re-enter your house, and wash your hands promptly. Remember, COVID-19 can stay alive on the surface of the glove, so you don’t want to reuse them.


  • Consider wearing either disposable paper or re-usable cloth facemasks when you are out in public. The mask should cover both your nose and mouth.


  • Refrain, as much as possible, from touching your face throughout the day. Once you start paying attention to this issue, you may be surprised at just how often you touch your face without even realizing it!


  • When you cough or sneeze, always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, and then promptly dispose of the tissue.


We know that this is a stressful and overwhelming time for many people. But hopefully You now have some concrete ideas on how you can protect yourself. As always, we are here to answer questions and provide further guidance, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!