To All Our Valued Patients,
We are pleased to announce our office will begin to re-open to see urgent patients only June 1, 2020. Our early goals will be to deal with patient's emergent needs, those who have experienced dental urgencies over the course of the past two months. We will focus on minimizing the amount of staff in our office until we gain a sense of the impact of dentistry and the potential for the transmission of the Coronavirus.
As we move through June, it will become important to re-evaluate the dental landscape and our treatment protocols to see how our hygiene program may be re-introduced.
Although the announcement for phase of 2 of BC's Restart Plan was announced on May 8th, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC), WorkSafeBC and BC Centre for Disease and Control (BCCDC) only released their separate guidelines for the reopening of dental offices Friday, May 15th prior to the long weekend.
We are required by WorkSafeBC to develop a formal Covid-19 Safety Plan and a Control Exposure Plan in cooperation with our team and practice the new procedures and scenarios. We are taking a few days to incorporate these changes for the benefit and safety of our team and our patients.
Upon review of those significant documents, we are confident that our team can meet or exceed all the requirements outlined and provide dental care in a safe environment.
One of the most important tools we will be using is a patient screening form to evaluate the risk of treating COVID-19 patients. It is critical for the safety of our staff and patients for these forms to be completed accurately and honestly. And we appreciate your support in this aspect.
Here is our initial plan moving forward:
- Starting June 1st, 2020 our office will reopen to urgent individual patients only, we will limit daily appointments to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Please be reassured that at ALL times, this office has practiced the Universal Precaution Guidelines. We are also taking extra precautions based on CDC (Center Disease Control) recommendations to ensure your safety while attending your dental appointment.
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 office or right before your appointment on the phone.
- We will ask you to only enter the office at your designated appointment time. There will be a seat outside if you arrive early to appointment.
- Please enter alone, any additional family members will be asked to remain outside the office unless additional assistance is required.
- You will notice, our protective clothing will be worn at all times.
- Please dress warmly as the doors and windows will be open to increase air circulation.
- Please bring headphones or anything that may increase your comfort as we will not be able to provide these for you at this time.
- You will be provided with a mask and hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some throughout the office for you to use as needed.
- Please take note and read the signage posted as you enter and exit the office.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, or children's toys, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- We will 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 (on entry or exiting the premises)
As other guidelines are released for safely opening fully to the public, we will keep you updated. Our hope is to slowly and carefully introduce operations over the course of the next months. However, if provincial and community conditions change or legislation require that the office stay partially closed or even return to an emergency appointment only state, we will alter operations accordingly, and you will be informed of the updated procedures.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate these ever-changing times.
Dr. Erin Burley and the Ingram Dental team