Covid-19 Protocols

Protocols to Reduce and Manage Risk

 A. Office

o   Prioritize patients and procedures according to urgency

o   Stay informed of current BC epidemiology and adjust office practices to adapt regularly and frequently

o   Where possible, minimize use of AGMP when non-AGMP alternative is available 

o   Schedule patients considered high-risk for getting severe Covid-19 whose treatment cannot be deferred at the beginning of the day (eg. age 70 years and over, immunocompromised, pre-existing serious respiratory disease, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, pregnant patients etc)

o   Update website regularly to inform patient of changes implemented due to Coronavirus Pandemic

o   Restrict access to patients only. Inform patients that they must come alone and report ahead of time if an accompanying person must attend with them

o   Accompanying persons must wait in the car or at a location outside of the clinic. If that is not possible (eg. caregiver of child or person with disabilities) accompanying person must also be screened for Covid-19 and asked to bring and wear a non-medical mask throughout their presence in the office

o   Provide hand sanitizer near the entrance and encourage patients to perform hand hygiene

o   Signage on both patient access doors restricting access if they have respiratory symptoms

o   Signage for physical distancing throughout the office

o   Use disposable barriers where possible to cover operatory equipment

o   Soap and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the office along with proper hand hygiene posters to encourage compliance

o   Removal of extraneous furnishings from the clinical area

o   Continue Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) protocol as defined by CDSBC

o   Periodic review of this document as well as the office Formal Exposure Plan to update as needed

o   No touch greetings will be encouraged

 

B. Staff

o   All staff must do a Covid-19 self-assessment the day before a shift AND the morning of a shift. If there are symptoms of respiratory illness THEY MUST NOT COME TO WORK. Symptoms include but not limited to fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new muscle aches or headache, new gastrointestinal symptoms. They must notify the dentist at their earliest convenience so that the back up staff member can be notified and asked to replace them. If replacement staff is not available, patients must be rescheduled

o   All staff will be expected to log their symptoms daily

o   If staff member develops symptoms during their shift, they must don or keep their mask on, perform hand hygiene, notify dentist and leave the facility as soon as it is possible

o   All staff will be expected to be cross-trained to help out members who cannot attend work due to illness

o   All clinical staff will change out of work clothes worn under PPE before leaving the office

o   Clinical shoes must be left at the office and disinfected where possible

o   Wearing non medical masks to and from work will be recommended

o   All staff will be required to be familiar with and adhere to the office Formal Exposure Control Plan

o   Breaks will be staggered as much as possible and staff are encouraged to wear their non medical masks while on break if physical distancing is not possible

o   Staff are encouraged to leave the office for lunch if physical distancing is not possible

o   Hand hygiene must be performed following office Formal Exposure Control Plan

o   No jewellery on the hands and wrists will be permitted during patient treatment

o   No artificial nails (eg acrylic nails) for clinical staff

o   Use chair side air purifiers during treatment to help control environment


C. Patients

o   All patients must be screened for Covid-19 over the phone and/or email prior to their appointment AND upon arrival

o   All patients will be instructed to report changes that will affect their Covid-19 screen and informed that they will not be permitted if symptoms are detected upon arrival

o   All patients will be advised to attend the office wearing a non-medical mask that they will keep on until the time of the treatment and placed back on after treatment prior to leaving clinical area

o   Attempt to complete the treatment in one visit to minimize need to return

o   No longer offer hot towel service after appointment to minimize spread of droplets between patient and staff

o   Encourage patients to bring their own set of wired headphones should they wish to watch and listen to Netflix entertainment during their appointment. We will place barriers on the remote control but cannot offer the in-office headset to minimize cross-contamination

o   Clinical staff will greet patient on arrival, offer hand hygiene, do quick assessment and record (take temperature, visual assessment of health) and bring them directly into operatory.

o   If clinical staff is not available when patient arrives, front desk staff will perform hand hygiene, put on appropriate PPE (mask and eye protection), offer patient hand hygiene, do quick assessment and record (temperature and visual assessment of health. They will then direct patient to wait in the reception chairs with their non-medical mask on while maintaining physical distance with others who may be in the office until clinical staff member can bring them to the operatory

o   Patient Covid-19 assessment form will be filled out in the operatory or ideally emailed and completed at home and returned to the office

o   Patients will be reminded to perform hand hygiene before leaving office