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How healthcare providers can protect themselves against COVID-19

With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 being a healthcare provider, it had us wondering how doctors are protecting themselves while seeing patients.

MACON, Ga. — As a healthcare provider, it's not always safe to be around patients carrying germs.

"It's a blessing to take care of kids, but we know that's one of the risks that comes with it," pediatrician Dr. Lance Slade said. 

Even with the coronavirus outbreak, Slade is still seeing patients daily. 

RELATED: Houston Healthcare: Person who tested positive for COVID-19 is healthcare provider

"We've been trying to capture patients before they're seen," he said.

As a safeguard, doctors are checking for fever and respiratory symptoms, and asking about travel.

Patients showing these signs are isolated in a room to stop the virus from spreading.

"We're going to do our best to get into PPE. That's patient protective equipment, which would be like a gown, gloves, face shield, and a N-95 or safer mask," Slade said.

In general, healthcare providers are also practicing social distancing, and staying 6 to 10 feet away from patients.

"Someone like me that likes to shake hands, or side hug or something like that, it can be the challenge of, 'Hey we're using the elbows now' or 'We're waving'," he said.

Even if doctors follow all CDC regulations, Slade says healthcare providers can still catch bad germs.

"The odds of us getting it are pretty high because we're around them so much, more than the average person. Yes, we're going to take all the fail safes, but nobody's perfect and it's just a reality. We're people too," he said.


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