With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing things no one could ever have imagined. Recent events feel like they should be out of a science fiction book or movie – not our everyday life!
As always, our #1 priority is keeping our patients and their family safe and healthy.
With this in mind, we’d like to share how we are handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and what you can expect from our office during and after it passes.
Dental office closure mandates
For our patients who were not scheduled for appointments in the mid-March through May time frame, you may not yet be aware of what is going on for dental offices statewide.
A full week before Gov. Inslee issued his Stay Home Stay Healthy order…Opens in a new window to the order document…, he issued a mandate to dental offices across the state requiring them to discontinue all “non-essential” dental treatment.
We are ONLY allowed to see existing patients for acute pain and swelling. Defying his mandate is a misdemeanor charge with a potential $1000 fine.
He did this at that time because of the DRASTIC shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Those of us in the dental industry use the same kind of masks and gloves that our front line healthcare workers use!
Gov. Inslee’s mandate has a tentative end date of May 18th, though this could be extended.
Reducing the risk of infection at our office
The other consideration for our team is the virus itself and the possible transmission.
So much is still unknown, or not publicized, about the virus, and it is evolving every day.
The team at Avalon Family Dentistry has always practiced the highest standard of care with our infection control, as outlined by the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA)…Opens in a new window to the act webpage….
In light of the current times, our team will be implementing additional procedures to safeguard our team and, most importantly, our patient family!
When are we reopening?
We are anxiously awaiting the day Gov. Inslee allows us to return to seeing patients for regular dental procedures.
The governor’s original timeline was a return date of May 18th. However, after his April 21st press conference, it seems like that may be up in the air.
Preparing for a new normal
We are fully aware that our old “normal” may be non-existent.
The one good thing this virus has done has given us all the opportunity to become more flexible and to think outside of the box.
While we haven’t fully confirmed these guidelines, our new normal COULD include:
- No more magazines in the reception area
- Limiting the number of people that are in the reception area at one time.
- To limit the number of people in our office, we MAY ask you to call us from your car when you arrive. Then we will call you when we are ready to see you.
- Not allowing our awesome pediatric patients to utilize our kids’ playroom.
We are awaiting guidance on how to keep you and your family safe
The state government has not made any decisions yet.
We are happy to say that the Washington State Dental Association…Opens in a new window to the WSA homepage… and the American Dental Association…Opens in a new window to the ADA homepage… are currently engaged in dialogue with our state officials.
We anxiously await the guidelines from our government and healthcare leaders.
What’s coming next?
Because of these unknowns, our team is in dialogue on how we will best be able to serve our patients.
We know that many of our patient families may not have much flexibility in their schedules.
Just know that, as always, we are doing everything we can to provide the most superior care to our dental family!
As we learn more, we’ll keep you up to date on the latest information here on our blog or FaceBook page…Opens in a new window to Avalon Family Dentistry Facebook page (Be sure to like us on Facebook, if you haven’t already!).
From the whole team at Avalon Family Dentistry, we hope you and your family are healthy and safe!
We look forward to seeing your smiling faces again soon.