Coronavirus News: NYC dentist handing out free face masks to patient's caregivers, others

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020
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Dr. Alisa Kauffman is a dentist who usually makes house calls to the homebound elderly in Manhattan, but these days, it's all about tele-dentistry and giving out masks.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It may look like she is jousting, but in fact, Dr. Alisa Kauffman is fighting to keep people healthy.

She is a dentist who usually makes house calls to the homebound elderly in Manhattan, but these days, it's all about tele-dentistry and giving out masks.

"It's just a simple surgical mask," she said, "The ones all dentists use commonly."

She was proactive when it came to her patients and their caregivers.

"In early March I was telling all of the caregivers, 'You need to start wearing a mask, you're traveling on public transportation, you're taking care of sick people,'" Dr. Kauffman said.

And then she started giving them away.

She has given out hundreds; each bagged, to minimize germs, dangling at the end of a long pole.

Dr. Kauffman has asthma, which puts her at high risk for complications from the new coronavirus, but she's compelled to do this.

She says they are free and she will give them out until she has none left.

And as for her patients, she can't wait to get back to them in person.

"To be honest, maybe someone is watching out for my older patients because they're not really having a lot of emergencies," Dr. Kauffman said. "I'm really fortunate my housecall patients are okay."

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