Covid-19 Response Update
Now that we have been back to work for a few weeks I wanted to take an opportunity to update each of you on our response to Covid-19 and how it has changed our practice. Some of you have already been in to visit and have seen some of those changed first hand. Others have upcoming appointments or are new patients and will experience the difference. The safety of our patients, staff and community will always be our highest priority and everything we have done is to reduce the risk of our office spreading the virus.
First, we have stepped up our already stringent cleaning and disinfection procedures. Before each patients walks into the clinic, we thoroughly clean and sanitize any areas they may come into contact with using hospital grade disinfectants. Our staff have truly taken their disinfecting duties to the next level. In addition, our staff are no longer moving about the clinic and are staying in their rooms during each day. By necessity I am moving from room to room, but I wash my hands between each room for a minimum of 60 seconds, I don new PPE between rooms, and I wear a medical grade respirator, then covered by a mask, to ensure I am minimizing the risk of transmission to anyone.
Second, we have closed our waiting room for the foreseeable future. Instead patients are asked to wait in their cars and only invited in by text message or phone call when their turn to be treated has arrived. We have many of your mobile phone numbers in our files, but for some of you we do not and ask that you update that information prior to your next appointment.
Third, in line with federal and state guidelines, our staff have increased the amount of Personal Protective Equipment in use by a significant amount. We now require all clinical staff to wear an N95 mask and then another Level III medical grade mask on top of that. In the alternative, some staff have chosen to wear a respirator that far exceeds the medical grade N95 categorization. In addition our clinical staff is wearing face shields to further reduce everyone’s risk. On top of that we are wearing gowns, gloves and routinely washing and sanitizing our hands to help prevent any transmission of the disease. These measures have been approved by the American Dental Association, the Michigan Dental Association, the CDC, and other independent organizations to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. In recent weeks, given the State of Michigan’s latest orders, we are now asking all patients to wear masks into the clinic which can be removed upon taking your chair.
Fourth, we have installed new, fine particulate air filters and ultraviolet disinfecting systems to our central air conditioning/heating units. The UV units are manufactured by Reme and have been recognized as industry leading air purifiers. They have been proven to kill 99% of germs, bacteria and viruses. More information on these units can be found here. https://www.rgf.com/products/air/reme-halo/
Finally, we continue to screen all patients and staff before they enter the clinic. Anyone with a fever or signs of illness will unfortunately be turned away and not allowed to enter the clinic until we can verify their wellbeing.
These changes have been difficult on all of us, but they are essential to everyone’s well being and peace of mind. Our oath tells us to do no harm, and we at Four Flags Family Dentistry take that oath seriously. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt as necessary. We are already looking at new and even better ways of protecting everyone and reducing the spread of this disease. We look forward to treating all of our patients in a safe and friendly environment and truly appreciate each of you, and your patience as we navigate this new world.
Dr. Mike Flewelling