November 25, 2020 – Happy Thanksgiving Holiday
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in a pandemic for over 8 months already. We hope you and those you hold dear are in good health and staying safe.
Though many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving very differently, apart from our families and friends, at Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates we have a lot to be thankful for. All our team members and their families are in good health. We continue to be able to see our patients, and to keep their teeth and mouths healthy. Last but not least, REALLY good news: effective vaccines against COVID-19 are on the horizon!
Until we get to that horizon, however, we’re facing a difficult winter ahead. We’re taking extra infection control precautions, and urge you to do the same. This is not the time to say “I’m exhausted by masks, handwashing and social distancing,” because unfortunately the virus doesn’t care if you’re exhausted or not.
The bacteria in your mouth, sadly, are equally insensitive to your feelings. Please continue to come in for your regular cleanings! Our office is one of the cleanest spaces you’ll enter, because at all times we have at least two dental assistants triaging our patients, fogging our treatment rooms and other office areas with hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and continually disinfecting all surfaces, door handles and light switches.
The next two articles, “New Safety Protocols” and “Behind the Scenes,” will tell you more about what we’re doing to keep you even safer, and we’ll follow with a photo of our Thanksgiving Food Drive.
New Safety Protocols
Even though we’re all tired of our very stringent protocols, this week we decided to take even more precautions to keep you safe:
- Asking that our patients wear a proper mask when entering our office, not a neck gaiter. Though gaiters are better than nothing, masks are more effective in blocking aerosols.
- Having Wendy, our Clinical Treatment Advisor, contact you after your unaccompanied child’s appointment to let you know how their appointment went. Unfortunately our clinicians cannot step out into the hallway to speak with you. If you don’t receive an email from Wendy or another clinician within 48 hours of your child’s appointment, please contact our office.
- Likewise for guardians of unaccompanied patients with special needs, Wendy will contact you.
- If you’re waiting in the car or in the hallway outside our door, we will call you on your phone if there are any post-operatory instructions for a patient you dropped off.
Behind the Scenes – Private Team Member Lounge
In the public areas of our office, our patients and team members are well protected:
- Our walls and doors (or shower curtains!) close off treatment rooms;
- our high vacuum suction machines remove most aerosols from the air during dental procedures;
- our protocol of fogging with hypochlorous acid (HOCl) clears the air of aerosols in our entire office;
- the continual use of several layers of PPE by clinicians, and masks by clerical team members, protects them in the public areas of our office.
When we reopened in June we realized that our previous “staff room” – where you now enter our office through suite 109, together with our consultation room next to it – was too small to ensure social distancing. We thus expanded our office to the suite next door (which used to be a periodontal practice), and renovated it to become a lounge area. Thus our team members can safely social distance while they eat, drink, or we hold a staff meeting. Here is what it looks like.
Note the HOCl fogger in the foreground, right side.
Do you recognize our old waiting room chairs below?
In the cold winter months, when eating outside won’t be as attractive, our team members will have a safe space in which to take off their PPE and relax for a bit. Thanks Debbie for the photos!
Thanksgiving Food Drive
Last week our team members were happy to contribute to the Frederick Food Bank, in a food drive sponsored by the Frederick Community Action Agency. Thanks Chelsea for the photo! Thank you for trusting us with your dental care, and for the positive reviews you write about our practice on Google and Facebook. Please take care. Our objective is to get out on the other side of this in good health, despite the uncomfortable precautions we need to take. We hope to see you soon, healthy and strong.
Happy Thanksgiving! Stay well, be well, and keep in touch!
Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates