New Office Policies Regarding Coronavirus
Our community (and the whole world) has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to life returning to normal as soon as possible. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety and to providing you with the highest level of oral health care.
If you are an existing patient and had an appointment as of March 16th that we were mandated by executive order to cancel, we will call or text you in the next few weeks to reschedule. If you are having a dental emergency or need to make an appointment that was not previously scheduled, please call us. If you have never been to our office, please complete the “request appointment” form or call us to schedule a new patient appointment.
For our existing patients, you will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect you, our patients and ourselves:
- If you have any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment or have been in close contact with anyone with symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment, please call our office at 540-885-4589 to reschedule (unless you are having a dental emergency or need urgent dental care).
- Per the CDC guidelines regarding face coverings, we ask that you wear a mask or face covering to your appointment if you have one. If you don’t have one, we may provide you with a surgical mask based on our level of supplies. We ask that you wear the mask / face covering when we come out to your vehicle and while in our office (except in the treatment room). This is for the protection of other patients, since it is estimated that up 70% of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic carriers.
- We ask that you remain in your vehicle when you arrive. As part of our efforts to maintain social distancing, we will not be having patients check-in at the front desk or wait in the waiting room. We removed all our magazines and our children’s treasure box, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- On the day before (or possibly several days) before your appointment, you will receive a text message from us (if we have your cell phone on file) with some health screening questions. On the day of your appointment, please respond to the text with either “y” for “yes” to any of the questions or “n” for “no” to all of the questions. If you did not receive or respond to this text before your appointment, we will ask you the health screening questions when you arrive.
- If we have your cell phone on file, we will send you another text message the same day as your appointment. When you arrive in our parking pot, please respond to that text with “a” for “arrive.” If you did not receive the text message, please call us at 885-4589 when you are in our parking lot.
- After you have notified us by text or phone call that you have arrived, one of us will come out to your vehicle to take your temperature on your forehead with a no contact infrared thermometer. We will also ask you some health screening questions if you did not respond to or receive the health screening text message.
- We will have hand sanitizer at the front desk glass window that we ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find hand sanitizer at our front desk in the hallway for you to use as needed.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and the dental profession. 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 requirements and 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). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
We are monitoring this situation very closely, and we will update this page as needed. Below are relevant updates and resources to help answer additional questions.
On March 20th, Governor Northam signed an executive order tilled Order of Health Emergency Two. As part of that order, the governor mandated that all non-emergency medical and dental procedures be postponed to allow hospitals to build up their needed supply of PPE. This executive order expired on April 30th (scroll down to the section “Elective procedures can resume this Friday”) due to the improving situation in Virginia. So hospitals, medical and dental offices are now permitted to provide non-emergency treatment and procedures.
Order of Health Emergency Two is unrelated to the Stay at Home Order (Executive Order 53) that Governor Northam signed March 23th and expires June 10th. Section 1b. of the Stay at Home Order states “Individuals may leave their residences for the purpose seeking medical attention.” Seeking medical attention includes all health related services, including dental. Also, since the governor is now allowing non-emergency medical and dental treatment and procedures due to the expiration of Order of Health Emergency Two, individuals are obviously permitted to leave their homes for those appointments.
Visit the ADA’s website for information about infection control guidelines and COVID-19. For more information, you can review the Centers for Disease Control guidelines pertaining to coronavirus. For further information, including measures to keep yourself healthy, visit the following links:
- Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html
- Steps When Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, us and every patient safe in our practice.
Thank you for the privilege of allowing us to be your oral health care provider. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back you and all of our patients (or welcoming you for the first time).
Dr. Salzberg, Melissa, Vanessa, Jenna, Ashley, Shaunna and Amy