As patients head back to 5-day, in-person learning (or full time in the office) we are reminded that to help protect ourselves and each other, we are all in this together. In the past we have shared with you the infection control procedures we have adopted from the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It is with these recommendations we truly believe we can best help protect our community and each other. If there’s something to be learned from this pandemic the takeaway is this; let’s all adopt easy measures to benefit not only ourselves, but our families and community as a whole. Here’s what we’re doing. We encourage you to review these actions and see how they parallel with what Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recommends we can do to help keep us all safe and healthy.
What we do: Observe meticulous hand disinfection protocols and always wear surgical masks in the clinic. For team members who are in direct contact with patients, this includes KN95 surgical masks, facial shields, goggles, cap, gown, and gloves.
What you can do: Wash your hands often, and when you can’t, use hand sanitizer, often. Wear your mask where required and appropriate – especially if you are in a crowded, public indoor area and cannot socially distance.
What we do: For treatment procedures that generate aerosols, a disposable gown is added to the above mentioned personal protective gear. After the procedure, all our protective gear is changed.
What you can do: Always wear a mask when you are in an indoor public setting, using public transportation, attending public gathering or travelling. These high traffic areas where people congregate have the greatest potential to spread aerosols.
What we do: All team member work uniforms are now washed/dried here in the office to ensure maximum sterilization. In addition, we have purchased an additional autoclave to double our sterilization capacity and revamped our entire OSHA manual procedures to comply with the latest Covid-19 guidelines.
What you can do: If you are in high-traffic, public areas for a prolonged period, change your mask. Keep a good supply of masks on hand and always have a spare on hand in case you need it. And be sure to wash reusable masks after each use to ensure they are fresh and ready for when you need them.
What we do: We have partitioned our open bay clinic with plastic to trap aerosols and each compartment is disinfected both on surfaces and through “fogging” the air using hospital grade Hypochlorous Acid or HOCl. Comprised of electrolyzed salt, water and vinegar, this disinfectant kills 99.9% germs, is non-toxic and 100% safe.
What you can do: Respect social distancing. Help protect others by catching coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues. Be sure also to dispose of those tissues in the trash and not leave them laying around. Students should also remember to check for and take all belongings when leaving the classroom. Clearing desktops allows for proper cleaning/disinfecting between classes.
What we do: All rooms are ventilated with an added iWave-R ionizing air, as well as Novareus non-chemical ultra-low energy plasma technology air purifiers placed throughout the office.
What you can do: Many office buildings, classrooms, and public venues all around the country are moving to implement similar purification systems. For your part, be sure to clear areas of belongings and trash to allow for proper disinfection protocols. You should also avoid sharing personal items with others which could transmit germs.
What we can ALL do: Most importantly, if you are sick… stay home! And if your quarantined, practice the same safety measures at home to protect family members and those with whom they come in contact from getting sick as well. Yes, we are all in this together, and we really should look to how individually and collectively we play a part in looking out for each other, the ones we love and our community.