Could I Get COVID-19 From A Temperature Gun?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.
Posted at 12:36 PM, May 22, 2020

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Emily Bennett asked: 

“What’s the risk of getting COVID-19 from when people are doing checks with a temperature gun?”

We asked the experts: Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, the Cleveland Clinic; Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at the Mayo Clinic.

Their take: Contracting COVID-19 from a temperature gun is low risk. 

"When used properly, a temperature gun shouldn't come in contact with your skin and the virus doesn't go through intact skin, so the risk of getting COVID-19 from the temperature gun itself is low. Obviously the person using the temperature gun will be in close contact with you. And so them wearing a mask and you wearing a mask will further reduce that risk," Dr. Rajapakse said. 

"Most of the temperature guns, and some of the ones are actually temperature zones, there's no touching at all. But also I would say this is actually pretty low risk," Dr. Esper said.

"It definitely should be cleaned between use on people when you're taking temperatures if it touches. But as long as it's not touching, that risk is very low," Cary said. 

If you have a question about your risk, send us a video to You can see answers to other questions here