July 16, 2020
Dear Marcel Family,
We miss seeing all of you and hope to return to serving our patients very soon.
The State of California has extended the shelter in place order through May 31, 2020. Currently, the ADA/CDA recommends limiting services to emergency care only. However, due to the ongoing nature of orthodontics, we have many patients with active appliances that require monitoring, along with patients who need emergency care. Our local Orthodontic Associations, the California Association of Orthodontists, and the American Association of Orthodontists have issued a recent statement. The statement reads that we as orthodontists should use our judgment when providing care to our patients whose treatment has suffered, due to delays, which could cause unfavorable outcomes. If you believe you need our assistance, please visit our website and request an “Online Consultation” by selecting “I’m a current patient,” provide patient information and take 5 quick teeth selfies. Dr. Marcel will review your photos and one of our team members will reach out to you with his recommendation.
We will begin scheduling appointments in June, July, and August 2020 based on the order in which the patient was originally scheduled, duration since the last appointment, and urgent treatment needs. Please be patient and understand current circumstances when working with our scheduling coordinators. Also, if you need to cancel or change an appointment it is imperative to let us know as soon as possible, as it is critical we offer another patient the opportunity to be seen.
CHANGES IN PROTOCOL: We have always complied with strict OSHA mandated standards; however, we have taken additional measures in cooperation with the evolving updates from OSHA and the CDC/ADA:
- Reschedule if Sick: We ask that all patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing) reschedule their appointments.
- Social Distancing: We will plan to accommodate only 30% of the standard volume of patients usually seen and have 30% of our team members in the office. To do this we will be offering Monday – Saturday appointments with extended hours through August 15, 2020.
- Before Visit: Patients are asked to brush and floss their teeth at home before your visit.
- Limited Entry: We ask that youth/adult patients attend appointments alone and young minors attend with only one responsible party. We ask that siblings are not brought into the office.
- Check-In: Please arrive with a mask on and have the patient check-in at the check-in table located inside our office door.
- Screening: Before fully entering the office, our check-in coordinator will ask all patients three questions regarding their health:
- Have you traveled anywhere outside the state of California, within the last 14 days?
- Have you been in contact with anyone who has shown signs of, or has been diagnosed with, COVID-19?
- Do you have a cough, temperature or shortness of breath?
If the answer to any of these questions is, “Yes,” the patient will be required to reschedule their appointment. If the answer to all of these questions is, “No,” the patient’s temperature will be taken (using a touchless thermometer) before entry.
- After Check-In: Patients will be asked to use hand sanitizer and wait in the reception area until they are escorted to their clinic chair.
- Post-Visit: Dr. Marcel or your assistant will communicate the post-appointment report and schedule your next appointment. If a minor, one of our scheduling coordinators will call the responsible party to schedule at the end of the visit.
- Employee Health Screening: All employees undergo health history screenings before starting their work shift. In addition, we will 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. At this time, all employees will be required to wear masks. Employees’ temperatures will be monitored daily.
- Sterilization Procedures: The foundation of our infection control procedures has always been 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 asymptomatic 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 gloves, disposable gowns, eye-protective wear with side protection, full-face shields, surgical masks and N95 masks (when indicated) and are designed to ensure that no fluids can be passed between our team and patients. Strict surface sterilization procedures are followed to clean and disinfect all operatory surfaces between patients, and after each use. All dental instruments are disinfected and heat sterilized, in medical steam autoclave machines, in individual sterile pouches.
- Common Area Disinfecting: All office areas are disinfected every hour. This includes a thorough wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, doorknobs, tables, chairs, and office counters with a disinfectant wipe.
- Temporary Closure: Tooth-brushing stations, coffee, refreshment bar, cookies, and slushies.
- Hand Sanitizers and Sneeze Guards: Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the office and a plexiglass sneeze guard has been installed at our front desk.
- Air Filtration: Medical grade HEPA filtration and air purification units have been placed in our clinic area. Our units effectively filter 99.5% of harmful ultrafine particles down to 0.003 microns in size. (This is 100 times smaller than what is achieved with ordinary air filtration technology and 10 times smaller than a virus)
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we do everything, we can, to provide a positive, safe, and healthy environment.
We so look forward to seeing you and getting you on your way to that beautiful healthy smile!
Dr. Marcel and Team