Coronavirus came in like a wrecking ball… seriously! Within a matter of days, this novel virus turned our ‘normal’ completely on its head. We have all worked diligently to follow the recommendations and executive orders issued by our State of Colorado and the many other agencies to keep our social distance, close our businesses, ‘Stay at Home’, and flatten the curve. Now, we are to the point of being able to slowly resume bits and pieces of our lives and re-open our businesses. This ‘Safer at Home’ phase STILL requires us to be diligent. Just like you, we have parents, grandparents, or other high risk loved ones that we are worried about.
What does that mean for Orchard Dental Care? It means we are going to be taking extra precautions during this pre-opening phase, not only for your protection but for the protection of our team members and their families. These extra precautions are temporary in nature, but we will extend them however long necessary.
Here are some of the things you can expect to see over the next several weeks:
- Soft re-opening – We are rule followers, what can we say? We are going to be opening our office to about 50% capacity during these first few weeks. We will also be modifying our schedule a bit. If you had an appointment during the COVID shutdown, a team member will be calling you to get your appointment rescheduled. Please keep in mind, it will not be possible to get everyone in right away. We WILL do our best, but your patience and understanding during this time are greatly appreciated.
- Prescreening of all patients – All patients who have an appointment during this time will be contacted prior to their appointment and asked specific COVID-19 health-related questions. This assessment will be used to determine and mitigate potential exposure risk to other patients and team members.
- Vehicle waiting rooms – Our goal is to get each patient back to their rooms upon arrival but to avoid any potential crowds in the waiting room, we will be asking all patients to virtually ‘Check In’ and wait in their vehicles until a team member comes out to get you. That team member will conduct a quick temperature check prior to bring you back to the office. IF you have a fever over 100.4, please keep in mind that you will be asked to reschedule your appointment. If you are having a dental emergency, we will need to make specific arrangements for you to be seen while symptomatic.
- Sterilization – As standard practice, we sterilize every room and instrument used in between patients. This is done to prevent the spreading of any illness to other patients. As an added precaution, we are asking each patient to sanitize their hands upon entering the office. There will be a bottle right by the front door for your convenience. Each patient will also be asked to rinse with a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution once in the room and prior to treatment as recommended by the CDC and ADA.
- PPE – This stands for Personal Protection Equipment. While PPE is also industry standard and required in ALL healthcare offices, we are stepping up our protection with a few additional items. With the outbreak of Coronavirus, you will see your provider now wearing an N95 mask, a face shield, and a disposable gown for all aerosol producing procedures.
There will be additional measures taken by our team members, but the items above will probably be the most noticeable to you. If you have any questions or concerns about ANY of these precautions, please give our office a call. These measures are not to scare anyone, only to provide assurance that we are taking the necessary precautions to protect our patients, our team members, and our families. We have missed you all greatly and can’t wait to see you again!
Orchard Dental Care and Coronavirus: FAQs
- How do I know the office is safe and fully disinfected?
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, our office followed strict infection control guidelines that would have prevented the transmission of the novel coronavirus (or any other virus) to our patients and team members. In an abundance of caution, we have increased the frequency and thoroughness of our sanitizing procedures and we are following all safety procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, American Dental Association and OSHA.
- Is it safe to sit in the waiting room?
We have increased our sterilization procedures for all common areas and are paying special attention to wiping down chairs, door handles, and other things patients frequently touch. We have also made changes in the waiting area and to our schedule to allow for increased social distancing. For the time being, we are also asking patients to use their vehicles as their waiting room.
- Have any of your patients tested positive for the coronavirus?
We are not aware of any patient that has tested positive for coronavirus. We are screening each patient for risk of exposure before treating them, and we are postposing their treatment if the are showing signs of illness or have traveled recently. If anyone tests positive for the virus in our office, we will contact local health authorities and follow their guidelines.
- Have any of your staff members been sick or tested positive for the virus?
None of our staff members in the office are presently ill. Each staff member will be taking their temperature prior to coming into the office and abiding by the same guidelines we are setting for our patients. If a staff member is showing symptoms, we’re being especially careful and recommending that any team member with fever, cough, shortness of breath or body aches and chills sees their doctor as soon as possible and self-quarantines.
- Should I cancel my appointment if I am feeling sick? Should I cancel my appointment if someone other than me is sick in my household?
If you or anyone in your household is sick, or under quarantine for any reason, we would prefer to postpone your appointment for at least 3 weeks or upon receiving a negative COVID-19 test result.
- Should I come to my dental appointment alone?
We are continuing to practice social distancing at our office until it is completely safe to do otherwise. We ask that you do NOT bring other family members to your appointment unless they are also receiving treatment or if you need them to provide you with transportation or assistance.
- Will there be a no-show fee if I am unable to keep my appointment for reasons related to COVID-19?
We understand that unforeseen reasons for cancellations may pop up and you may have other concerns on your mind. While we do still ask that you give us as much advance notice as possible if you won’t be able to visit us, we will not be charging missed appointment fees during this time.