Dear Team Members,
We would like to provide the most current and applicable information on the COVID19 (Coronavirus) and our dental practices.
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID19 in any of our regions. The immediate health risk from the coronavirus to the general American public is considered low at this time, according to the CDC.
Transmission of the virus is airborne, resulting from close contact with someone infected who is coughing or sneezing. It may be possible that a person could become infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What does this mean for us? Safety for our team members and patients continues to be our first priority. COVID19 joins a long list of communicable diseases that we have potential exposure to. It is vital that we exercise standard precautions, specifically:
- The consistent and expected use of gloves, masks and PPE (personal protective equipment, including eye protection)
- Regular hand washing
- Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette
- Receive flu vaccine annually
- Team members experiencing a flu-like illness should not report to work
- Sharps safety and disposal
- Sterilization of instruments and handpieces
- Regular cleaning and disinfecting of environmental surfaces
One additional recommendation from the ADA: “Dental personnel should be alert and identify patients with an acute respiratory illness when they arrive, give them a disposable surgical face mask to wear and isolate them in a single-patient room with the door kept closed to limit their contact with other patients and personnel. Isolated patients should wear their masks outside their rooms.” Note: We should recommend patients experiencing flu-like symptoms to reschedule non-emergency treatment until symptoms subside.
As an organization, we are meeting to determine additional contingency plans in the event the situation changes and/or there is business interruption.
As additional information or recommendations come from the CDC or ADA we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Thank you for your commitment to patient and team member safety.