COVID-19 Reopening Procedures
To all our patients, thank you for supporting us and for your understanding at this time. As of April 27, 2020 the Colorado government has begun allowing dental offices to start seeing patients for “elective” treatment and to begin returning to “normal”. We are appreciative of this opportunity and hope to see many of you on a regular basis in the near future.
With this reopening there has been a lot of guidance/requirements on the state level to help offices minimize risk of transmission of disease. These requirements will make going to a fully normalized practice difficult in the short term. The purpose of this correspondence is to familiarize our current and future patients of the requirements that are being placed on all dental and medical practices. Again we thank you for your patience and understanding through this time and we look forward to the time when we can get to an even more normalized state!
1.) The state is asking us to prioritize appointments that have the risk of becoming more emergent in the short term to alleviate stress on hospital emergency departments. This may be disruptive to our schedule. We will do our best to maintain the schedule but please understand if we may need to move or postpone your appointment.
2.) The state has also asked that we keep staff and number of people in the office to a minimum where possible. We currently are short staffed as we are respecting our employees decisions on the level of risk they are willing to accept in regards to this virus. This may also affect our ability to maintain a full schedule. We are currently trying to fill those voids and will do what we can to accommodate as many patients as possible.
3.) We have also been required that if any employee is exhibiting any symptoms that they will need to be sent home until they are symptom free for 72 hours and at least 7 days have passed since the onset of symptoms occurred. This may also create a more short staffed situation that will quite possibly require postponing appointments further.
4.) We want to let you know that we are following all CDC guidelines in respect to infection control and believe that as we continue those protocols and implement the COVID-19 protocols listed here, we will be able to mitigate as much risk of contracting the virus as is possible.
5.) If you have concerns, are showing symptoms, or are in a high risk population we encourage you to and will respect your decision to postpone an appointment without any worry of cancellation fees, etc.
6.) The state is reserving the right to place stricter guidelines on offices in the event that COVID-19 cases spike during this “Safer at Home” phase. We will keep you notified if this happens.
Prior to Appointments:
1.) To maintain social distancing protocols it is recommended that we implement a virtual waiting room. This will require us to have patients wait in their cars prior to coming up to the office. We ask that as soon as you arrive in the parking lot to call the office and notify us. Once a treatment room is clean and ready we will call or text you to come up for your appointment.
2.) The requirements are that all patients have a face covering prior to entering the building. This can be a cloth covering or mask.
3.) Upon entering our office we will have a questionnaire for you to fill out about your potential contact with COVID-19 and your temperature will be taken. If you have been sick with COVID like symptoms or been around anyone who has in the past 2 weeks, we ask that you contact us and reschedule your appointment.
During and After Your Appointment
1.) We will be implementing the current recommendations regarding PPE. We have an adequate number of N95 masks, face shields/goggles or other protective eyewear for staff and protective eyewear for patients as well. All other requested PPE including gowns, gloves or other PPE that may be requested or required by the state will be available to our staff to use as needed.
2.) Dentistry creates a lot of aerosols. We are implementing specific protocols to reduce the production of aerosols as much as possible. The use of high volume suction, hand scaling in lieu of ultrasonic (cavitron) instruments by our hygienists, and extending appointment times to allow aerosols to settle between patients are being used as guidelines.
3.) If you have symptoms of COVID-19 within a week following your appointment or are diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact our office so that we can follow the state protocol (following symptoms of employees and calling all patients that may have been in the office around the time you were here.
Again, thank you for your understanding. We appreciate each and everyone of you and hope that we can return to a “business as normal” situation as soon as possible. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are always happy to speak to you! We are also always open for emergencies even if our time in the office for routine procedures is shortened. Just call our emergency number if needed. We believe that as we implement these procedures we can reduce risk to our staff and patients. Please help us adhere to these guidelines.
Brent Nielsen DMD