Office to Reopen Monday, April 27, 2020
On March 18th we closed our office, except for emergency dental care, due to the COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, April 20, Governor Polis announced that Colorado’s stay-at-home order would not be extended past April 26. He further endorsed a gradual reopening of businesses, including dental offices. Our office will reopen on Monday, April 27, 2020.
What to Expect When We Reopen
We are utilizing information from state health resources and also the Colorado and American Dental Associations. Suffice it to say that things will look different when you return to the office. In the reception room, reading materials and our mission trip photo albums have been removed. This will help prevent inadvertent transfer of the virus. Some patients may choose to remain in their cars in the parking lot until notified to come in. We will request that you observe social distance seating in the reception area.
We are also working to identify patients with potential risk factors and discuss whether treatment should be postponed until we understand the virus better. High risk patients include, for example, those 65 or older, those with chronic conditions such as obesity, lung disease, respiratory conditions, or who live in nursing homes. There are additional conditions that might push someone into a high-risk category and we will want to discuss this with you in more detail.
The biggest change you will notice is the coronavirus screening questionnaire all patients will be required to fill out and sign before being treated. The screening form will ask questions related to your exposure/possible exposure to COVID 19, as well as symptoms associated with the virus such as a fever over 100.5 degrees, dry cough, loss of smell or taste, etc. We will also be taking patient temperatures before we treat patients and will likely not treat you if your temperature is elevated.
We have always adhered to rigorous sterilization and disinfection protocols, but we will be even more vigilant in keeping our office safe for patients and staff. During the initial relaxation of the stay-at-home order, we will be wearing masks during the entirety of your appointment. Staff will be taking their own temperatures several times per day.
We will also minimize contact during appointment checkout. For example, we may ask patients to insert their credit cards into our credit card machine. When the virus first appeared, we started disinfecting pens in between use, and will continue this practice.
We have several staff members in a higher risk category or who have family members at high risk. For that reason, you will not be seeing some of those familiar friendly faces when we initially reopen. We hope that scientists will quickly identify the best ways to detect and treat the virus. We look forward to the day when everyone is back at the office providing the wonderful care our patients have come to appreciate.
Wear Your Masks Into Our Office
While the stay-at-home order has been lifted, Colorado is moving to a “Safer at Home” phase per the governor’s office. People are encourage to wear masks when away from home. We would encourage our patients to wear their masks when they come into our office so as to help contain spread of the virus.
We are in new territory as we return to work with this virus still circulating. Patient and staff safety is very important to us. Dr. Albers is closely monitoring all new developments and will modify office protocols as best practices evolve.
Our entire staff values the relationships and friendships we have developed with many of you over many years. We are excited to reopen and look forward to seeing you in the office in the very near future.