From Dr. Katrice L. Thomas and Your Dental Team,
We hope this letter finds you and your family are in good health. We wanted to give you an update on the status of the practice during the current COVID- 19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
The health and safety of our patients, our team, and our community we serve still remains our top priority; as well as our commitment to the health and safety of our patients.
As of April 30, 2020, we are now under the Governor’s Safer At Home Health Order as the number of coronavirus cases in Alabama are still very active and a concern as we are in the process of reopening safely. Our office remains closed until May 18, 2020 (pending any future recommendations and new guidelines from the Centers of Disease and Prevention (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners).
Since March 19, 2020, we have been following the recommendations from the CDC, ADA, and ADPH regarding patients experiencing a dental emergency. This change on scheduling was an effort to assist in following social distancing guidelines.
Your health and safety as well as our team are always our top priority. In addition, to the standard hygiene and universal protocols established by the CDC, ADA, and OSHA that in normal times we follow and adhere to with vigilance, we will continue to implement infection control procedures that meet or exceed the CDC, ADA, and OSHA requirements on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, in compliance with the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners new dental protocol due to COVID-19, you may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We are making these changes to help protect our patients and team. For example:
- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some pre-screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
- When you arrive you will be asked to remain in your car, and call us rather than waiting in the reception area due to the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners mandate to close our reception area. When we are ready to bring you into the treatment room, we will call/text you. Also, we can only allow you to enter the office (with the exception of only 1 parent or caregiver if the patient is a minor or a person with a mental/physical disability) for your appointment and anyone accompanying you will be asked to remain in the car. However, as always we will keep them informed about you, your appointment, and any other relevant information.
- We will have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office and if none is available we will ask you to wash your hands.
- We ask that all patients wear masks when you enter the office.
- We will take our temperature every morning before seeing patients.
- We will take your temperature before you are admitted into the office.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. Also, the chairs are spaced 6 feet and selected to let you know what chairs to use
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the office at any one time.
Starting May 11th, we are beginning the process of rescheduling missed appointments between March 23rd, when we closed, and May 18th.
Thank you for your patience during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We appreciate the trust you place in our dental team and your loyalty. We will continue to pray for your health and strength and look forward to seeing you again soon!
Katrice L. Thomas, D.M.D. and Your Dental Team