May 22, 2020
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot these past few months. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new normal for our lives. 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. Dentistry has been a leader in outpatient infection control and continues to set the “new” standard. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to tell you about the steps we have taken to not only meet, but exceed the infection control recommendations, to keep our patients and staff safe. Our office has developed and implemented a “COVID-19 Protection Plan” that follows the recommendations made by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the American Dental Association (ADA). We closely monitor the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
You will see some changes when it is time for you to return to our office for your next appointment. These changes are just some of the aspects of our COVID-19 Protection Plan, and are designed to protect you as a patient, and us as caregivers.
- Pre-screening: Our office will communicate with you before your appointment to ask some screening questions. These questions will establish that you are symptom free, and that you do not pose a high risk of passing on COVID19 or other diseases. When you arrive at our office, you will see a desk manned by one of our staff just outside the door. We will check you in, repeat the screening questions mentioned above, take your temperature and other vitals, and distribute you a mask if you do not have one.
- Staff screening: All staff, including the doctors, will have their temperature and vitals taken prior to entering the office and at midday. Any employee or doctor that has any flu-like symptoms are asked not to come to work. (COVID-19 screening of all employees?)
- Social Distancing: When you arrive in our parking lot, please remain in your car, and call our receptionist at 650-348-4030. She will advise you when you may come to our front door screening desk. We will be eliminating the office waiting room for the time being. If someone accompanies you to your appointment, please have them remain in the car during the
appointment. If extenuating circumstances require someone to be with you, we will make accommodations. You will see that our waiting room no longer contains papers, magazines, or coffee as these items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Hand Cleaning: We have many hand sanitizer locations in the office, you will be asked to use hand sanitizer when you arrive and when you leave our office. If you prefer, you may opt to wash your hands instead. Our staff are adhering to a strong policy of hand washing between patients and before and after breaks.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We will be utilizing the most currently recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and procedures to keep you safe. We purchase all of our PPE from vendors who’s supply chain is separate from our “Frontliners.” It is important to us to not negatively affect the supply of PPE to those who most need them.
- Technology: Whenever possible we will utilize touchless and/or touch screen technology to facilitate the necessary treatment of forms and financial documents. We made two significant purchases of new technologies; Plasma Coil Air filtration units and Droplet and Aerosol Terminators. These will remove viral particles from the office air and all but eliminate the aerosol cloud produced in some of our procedures.
We look forward to seeing you again, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you safe while you are with us. We have a list of all patients whose appointments were cancelled due to the pandemic. Each doctor also has a list of the patients they were contacted by during the office shut down. We will contact each of you to reschedule your appointment. Please be patient with us, as we will be seeing fewer patients each day to allow for social distancing. If you feel that you have an emergency situation, please contact us right away.
Currently we will be starting to re-open the office June 1 (assuming the state and local ordinances allow this). You may be contacted prior to this date. Thank you for being our patients. We value your trust and loyalty, and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Drs. Stephen Pickering, Bryan Pope, Brenda Lamb Lewis and the entire Peninsula Periodontal Associate team
Dear Valued Patients,
Dentists are advised to screen all patients for recent travel to any location confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to have confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus, which first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. In response to the CDC warning to reduce the spread of COVID-19, individuals are being asked to stay home when sick and exhibiting symptoms.
If you are sick and have a scheduled appointment, please call the office to reschedule your appointment. Anyone who is sick and accompanying a patient to the office should not come into the office. Additionally, we ask that anyone who has traveled to an affected region since December, delay their appointment with us at least 14 days after they return and are symptom free for 14 days.
If you spent time in any affected region during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever or cough or have difficulty breathing:
- Notify your physician immediately and self-quarantine until further instructions from your physician.
- Take your temperature.
- Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
The best thing we can do as a community to prevent the spread of illness is to frequently wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when sick.
Wishing everyone good health!
Dr. Pickering, Dr. Pope and Dr. Lewis
Peninsula Periodontal Associates