GDR Clinics During COVID
December 20, 2021

As Global Dental Relief continues to navigate operating dental clinics during the pandemic, I want to share with you the guidelines we are using for the foreseeable future to help ensure the safety of our volunteers, trip leaders, and the children we serve.


At this time, we are operating clinics where there is immediate access to first-world medical care. Those locations include:

  • Kentucky
  • Mexico
  • Guatemala
  • Kenya
  • Cambodia

While we are deeply committed to the children in Nepal and India, due to the remote nature of GDR clinic locations, we do not foresee operating clinics in these countries until the fall of 2022.


Volunteer participation guidelines are as follows:

  1. Every volunteer and trip leader must be vaccinated. Volunteers will be required to show written documentation of vaccination in order to participate in a clinic. This guideline will remain in place for the foreseeable future. *At this time, we do not require a booster, though that may change in the coming months.
  2. GDR has reduced the number of volunteers on each clinic to help ensure the safety of the children we treat.
  3. All volunteers and trip leaders must show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departing the US for their volunteer project.
  4. GDR will provide rapid tests for volunteers to self-administer on the ground to help ensure we are not spreading COVID-19 to the children we serve.
  5. Sightseeing activities may be eliminated or reduced to mitigate possible risk. (See your current clinic itinerary for the daily detailed schedule.)


For those of you who have already volunteered in a GDR clinic, you can plan for our clinic setup to look different. Moving forward, we will:

  1. Reduce the number of operatories in each clinic.
  2. Limit patient populations in the clinic to the same cohort or classroom.
  3. Require patients to remain six feet apart at all times, and there will be no congregating in groups outside the clinic.
  4. No intake dentist. All dental procedures for the patient will take place in the same chair with the same provider, including oral health education and fluoride varnish application.

GDR’s mission is to be able to improve the health of children. In order to do that, we must ensure that we are doing everything possible to mitigate any risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

In most cases, the children we treat are either too young or do not have access to the COVID vaccine. They also do not have the resources to receive medical care if they do fall sick.

Our goal has been and remains to improve the lives of children in need. With that in mind, we will do everything within our power to ensure their health and safety in our clinics.

We are looking forward to seeing you somewhere in the world very soon!

With gratitude for your commitment and partnership,

Kim Troggio