We hope this email finds you healthy and well. We wanted to update you on the latest news by Governor DeWine. While we have been given clearance to reopen, there is still a shortage of PPE. Until we are able to secure enough PPE to safely protect our patients and team members, we will not re-open. We will update you as soon as we have a concrete date. Re-Opening Information & Procedures We will continue to re-evaluate the situation as it evolves and make changes according to CDC and OSHA recommendations. When we re-open, we are asking you to follow these new procedures to avoid crowds in the waiting room and for the health and safety of everyone involved. When You Come In All forms and paperwork should be filled online before showing up to the office. In the event that you do not have access to a computer, our office will call you with a questionnaire. Please come alone. Do not bring your spouse, children, or any other people, unless you need assistance. If more than one family member has an appointment, we will see each individual family member at their own appointment time. Other family members must wait in the car until we are ready to see them. One child can be accompanied by one adult. Other children must wait in the car with another adult. Please call or text us once you arrive at Bridge Park. We will let you know when we are ready for you to come in for your appointment. Please reschedule your appointment if you are feeling ill. Do not come in if you have a fever or cough, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Steps We Are Taking We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our dental offices. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of severely contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, and they are equally effective in managing the spread of influenza and corona virus. Below is a summary of the steps currently in place to ensure patient and employee safety: Employee Health Screening: All employees and affiliated providers undergo detailed background and health history screenings before commencing employment. In addition, we strictly enforce sick policies that require employees suffering from communicable illnesses to stay home from work until they have clearance by a physician to return and have received supervisor approval. Employees who have traveled to a country with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 Travel Health Notice are required to self quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to work. Employees are also having their temperatures monitored daily prior to starting work. Patient Health Screening: Due to concerns about patient and employee safety, we ask that non emergency patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing) and patients who have returned from travel to a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice in the past 14 days reschedule their appointments. Patients will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening interview and temperature check prior to all visits in accordance with CDC and American Dental Association recommended guidelines. In addition, all patients will be asked to gargle with a peroxide mouthwash before any treatment to reduce bacterial and viral loads in the mouth. Aerosol mitigation: One of the biggest concerns in dentistry is the aerosols we create which have been shown to last in the air for up to 3 hours. lntraoral high velocity evacuation, or HVE, has been shown to be effective in the control of aerosols when appropriately used. Some tests show a 95% reduction in aerosols with the use of HVE alone. For this reason, we have three intraoral HVE systems to be used during procedures that produces aerosols. In addition to these HVE systems, medical grade air filtration systems have been added to each room to further remove any lingering aerosols. Sterilization Procedures: The foundation of our infection control procedures is based on requirements established by the CDC that state that all body fluids are treated as infectious because patients with blood borne infections can be a symptomatic or unaware that they are infected. This includes body fluids in airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in our office, which includes eye-protective wear, face shields, custom fit masks and gloves are designed to ensure that no blood or body fluids can be passed between staff and patients. These items are washed and disinfected or discarded between patients to mitigate any patient-to-patient transmission. Strict surface sterilization procedures are followed to clean and disinfect all operatory surfaces between patients and, after each use, all dental instruments are cleaned and heat sterilized in steam autoclave machines in individual sterile cassettes. Common Area Disinfecting: As a result of the current corona virus concern, we have taken added precautions in the common areas. All magazines and books have been removed. Lobby surfaces are disinfected every hour. This includes a thorough wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, door knobs, tables, chairs and front office counters with Optim, a CDC-approved commercial sterilization agent. According to the CDC, the most important steps we all can take to avoid infection from airborne diseases are frequent hand washing with soap and water and regular cleansing of highly-used surfaces with disinfectant. We recommend that all our patients take these basic precautions. We understand that some of these changes may be inconvenient but it is to ensure the safety of all our patients and team members. We appreciate your patience through all of this.