Important Information Regarding COVID-19
Updated July 2020
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. We plan to resume limited hygiene and routine appointments starting on June 1st, 2020.
While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the parking lot.
- Patients will be asked to wait in their cars (with the AC on if possible) once they arrive at our parking lot.
- You’ll be required to wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth to come into the office. If you don’t have one, we’ll provide one for you.
- Temperature will be taken on every patient and staff member with an infrared thermometer before allowed in. Patients or staff with a fever and/or that meet the screening criteria established by authorities will not be allowed in the office.
- All patients will be asked to do a 60 second pre-rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash (don’t worry it has a minty pleasant taste ).
- Only the patient being treated will be allowed in the office at any given time unless the patient needs additional assistance.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That may mean that you’re offered fewer options at the moment for scheduling your appointment.
- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
- We are not using aerosol-generating instruments for cleanings .
- We are using enhanced high volume suctions to control aerosol generation during procedures.
- We have installed air purifiers (HEPA and H13) in our rooms.
- We are purchasing and installing new additional safety equipment for our office such as air additional air filtration and enhanced suction systems for optimal aerosol control.
- If you had COVID19 or have tested positive for COVID19, we will require two lab-certified consecutive COVID19 tests with negative results done in a 24 hour period in order to be able to come into the office. We do this out of an abundance of caution to for our patients and our staff.
Ensuring your safety is our duty. We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you safe in our practice. To make an appointment of if you have any questions, please call our office at 919-493-1402 or click on the link below.
Drs. Hernández & Lasanta & the H&L Dentistry Team
COVID-19 PANDEMIC DENTAL TREATMENT
NOTICE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK
The World Health Organization has characterized the COVID-19 virus, also known as “Coronavirus,” as a pandemic. Our practice wants to ensure you are aware of the risks of exposure to COVID-19 associated with receiving treatment during this pandemic.
COVID-19 is highly contagious and has a long incubation period. You or your healthcare providers may have the virus, not show symptoms and yet still be highly contagious. COVID-19 can result in a life-threatening respiratory disease in some patients. You may be exposed to COVID-19 at any time or in any place. Due to the frequency and timing of visits by other dental patients, the characteristics of the virus, and the characteristics of dental procedures, there is an elevated risk of you contracting the virus simply by being in a dental office.
Dental procedures can create fine water spray or “aerosols” which may remain in the air for several minutes to hours. These aerosols may contain the COVID-19 virus and may create a risk of COVID-19 exposure. You cannot wear a protective mask over your mouth to reduce exposure during treatment as your healthcare providers need access to your mouth to render care. This leaves you vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission while receiving dental treatment.
To provide a safe environment for our patients and staff, this practice follows the applicable state and federal regulations and protocols for infection control, universal personal protection, and disinfection. However, due to the nature of the procedures we provide, it may not be possible to maintain social distancing between patients, doctors, and staff at all times.
In recognition of ongoing news reports and the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, we realize our patients have questions. As dedicated health care professionals, we want you to know that we remain as diligent as ever in protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff. Our practice strictly adheres to and exceeds the standards for infection control by wearing personal protective gear, using hospital-grade disinfectants, practicing the latest sterilization protocols, utilizing single-use disposable materials, and more. Every effort we have in place is to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. We want you to know that we are monitoring this situation very closely, and we will keep you updated regularly.
Symptoms of coronavirus are reported as flu-like, with varying degrees of severity. While we do not know everything about this virus to date, individuals who are elderly and/or immunocompromised appear to be the most at risk of a severe infection. To ensure your health and safety, and the health and safety of everyone at our practice, please reschedule your appointment if you or a member of your household has a cough, fever, and/or flu-like symptoms. In addition, please reschedule your appointment if you have traveled to any areas within the past 14 days that are at high risk for contracting the coronavirus.
We thank you in advance and extend our gratitude for your understanding and cooperation. Together, we can help keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office, and one of our staff members will be more than happy to assist you.
For further information, including measures to keep yourself healthy, visit the following links:
- Find testing sites: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place
- Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html
- Symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html
- Steps When Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html
- Local health department