June 1, 2020
Dear Patients and Families,
We hope that you are safe and in good health. These are tumultuous times and our community has been through a lot over the last few months. We are looking forward to resuming our normal operations; but, we want to ensure the safety and health of all.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued new guidance for oral health care providers and is now permitting us to resume standard orthodontic care under new COVID-19 restrictions. However, with the recent unrest, the timeline for reopening has been shifted, as there is a new level of uncertainty, regarding being able to open safely.
We will continue to monitor the news, and as the situation permits, our office will begin scheduling, by calling patients whose appointments were missed due to the COVID-19 closure. We will attempt to make these appointments in the order in which they were missed and anticipate that this will take some time. We appreciate your patience and understanding in advance.
While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same – our commitment to safety. We have been active during this closure, working to prepare our office for an eventual re-opening, so that we can continue to serve our community and meet your orthodontic needs. We will continue to provide our already stringent disinfection and sterilization standards, but are adding new measures that you will see upon returning:
- Our office will email you two days before your scheduled appointment with a link to a "COVID-19 screening questionnaire". The day of the appointment, you will again be asked some screening questions and we will take your temperature with a contactless thermometer. Our team members will also undergo a daily screening and temperature check before we begin our day.
- We will use two-way text messaging from our main office number to check in and inform when ready to be seen (patients can wait in their cars or in the building lobby).
- We will be reducing the number of people in the office by asking teens and adults to come to the office by themselves (young children can be accompanied by one adult), and allowing greater time between patients to reduce waiting times.
- Procedures that are expected to generate more aerosol will be scheduled toward the end of the day, in order to incease safety.
- Hand sanitizer and hand-washing will be available for you to use in the elevator lobby and in the office.
- All magazines and beverages have been removed, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. Additionally, our seating in the reception has been re-arranged to allow for greater distancing.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of hard surfaces, with a focus on high-touch areas, will be done throughout the day.
- We have placed HEPA air purifiers and will be treating the air in the office with a safe and non-toxic disinfectant throughout the day.
- Staff will be wearing the highest level of PPE available to minimize the risk of virus transmission.
- Patients will be asked to wear facial covering in order to enter and while transiting in the office.
- Patients will be asked to do a hydrogen peroxide pre-rinse immediately before the adjustment appointments.
- We will reduce and capture aerosol during our procedures as much as possible.
We will continue to monitor infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please look out for further communication from us with details regarding these and any other changes as we get closer to our reopening date. Our office will contact you to reschedule any appointments cancelled during this shutdown at a later time.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and continued support, and we look forward to welcoming you back.
The Team at Gold Coast Orthodontics