Dental Membership Plan COVID-19 Protocols

New protocols for COVID-19

Your Safety is Important to Us

 

As we continue to navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, please see some of the proactive health and safety protocols we have implemented to ensure a safe environment.

  • Feeling Unwell?

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Some people infected with the virus have no symptoms.

    When the virus does cause symptoms, People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

    People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • Fever or chills
    • Dry Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, (which often indicates pneumonia)
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • In some people, COVID-19 causes more severe symptoms; like high fever and severe cough

    This list does not include all possible symptoms, but these are the most common.

    People with COVID-19 are also experiencing neurological symptoms, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, or both. These may occur with or without respiratory symptoms.

    For example, COVID-19 affects brain function in some people. Specific neurological symptoms seen in people with COVID-19 include loss of smell, inability to taste, muscle weakness, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, dizziness, confusion, delirium, seizures, and stroke.

    In addition, some people have gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or discomfort associated with COVID-19. These symptoms might start before other symptoms such as fever, body ache, and cough. The virus that causes COVID-19 has also been detected in stool, which reinforces the importance of handwashing after every visit to the bathroom and regularly disinfecting bathroom fixtures.

    For More Information Click on These Links:

    - Harvard Medical School
    - Johns Hopkins University
    -United States CDC Center for Disease Control
  • Social Distancing

    What is social distancing?

    The practice of social distancing means staying home and away from others as much as possible to help prevent spread of COVID-19. The practice of social distancing encourages the use of things such as online video and phone communication instead of in-person contact.

    As communities reopen and people are more often in public, the term “physical distancing” (instead of social distancing) is being used to reinforce the need to stay at least 6 feet from others, as well as wearing face masks. Historically, social distancing was also used interchangeably to indicate physical distancing which is defined below. However, social distancing is a strategy distinct from the physical distancing behavior.

    What is Physical distancing?

    Physical distancing is the practice of staying at least 6 feet away from others to avoid catching a disease such as COVID-19.

    As noted above, “social distancing” is a term that was used earlier in the pandemic as many people stayed home to help prevent spread of the virus. Now as communities are reopening and people are in public more often, physical distancing is used to stress the importance of maintaining physical space when in public areas.

    How can I practice physical distancing?

    Wear a face mask or covering when you are not in your home and whenever you are around people who are not members of your household. Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Avoid crowded places, particularly indoors, and events that are likely to draw crowds.

    Other examples of social and physical distancing to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are:

    • Working from home instead of at the office
    • Closing schools or switching to online classes
    • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in-person
    • Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings

    For More Information Click on These Links:

    - Johns Hopkins University
    - United States CDC Center for Disease Control
  • Respiratory Hygiene

    Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette

    What is respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette?

    These are infection prevention measures designed to limit the transmission of respiratory pathogens spread by droplet or airborne routes. The strategies target primarily patients and individuals accompanying patients to the dental setting who may have undiagnosed respiratory infections but also apply to anyone with signs and symptoms of illness. Implement measures to prevent the spread of respiratory infections from anyone in a health care setting with signs or symptoms.

    We advise patients and healthcare personnel to observe Droplet Precautions (i.e., wearing a surgical or procedure mask for close contact), in addition to Standard Precautions, when examining a patient with symptoms of a respiratory infection, particularly if fever is present. These precautions should be maintained until it is determined that the cause of symptoms is not an infectious agent that requires Droplet Precautions.

    • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
    • Cough into your elbow sleeve.
    • Use tissues and throw them away.
    • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer every time you touch your mouth or nose.

    For More Information Click on These Links:

    - United States CDC Center for Disease Control
  • Handwashing or Hand Hygiene

    Keeping Hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. CDC recommends cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective handwashing and use of hand sanitizer was developed based on data from a number of studies.

    Microbes are all tiny living organisms that may or may not cause disease.

    Germs, or pathogens, are types of microbes that can cause disease.

    How to wash hands;

    Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

    Why clean running water? Because hands could become recontaminated if placed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated through previous use, clean running water should be used.

    The temperature of the water does not appear to affect microbe removal; however, warmer water may cause more skin irritation and is more environmentally costly.

    Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from skin, and people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs.

    Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.

    Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

    Why lather and scrub? Lathering and scrubbing hands creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin. Microbes are present on all surfaces of the hand, often in particularly high concentration under the nails, so the entire hand should be scrubbed.

    Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

    Evidence suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds, removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods. The optimal length of time for handwashing is dependent on many factors, including the type and amount of soil on the hands and the setting of the person washing hands. For example, surgeons are likely to come into contact with disease-causing germs and risk spreading serious infections to vulnerable patients, so they may need to wash hands longer.

    Rinse your hands will under clean, running water.

    Why rinse? Soap helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin so they can then be rinsed down the drain.

    Rinsing the soap away also minimizes skin irritation.

    Turn off the faucet. While some recommend using a paper

    Towel to turn off the faucet after hands have been rinsed, this practice leads to increased use of water and paper towels, and there are no studies to show that it improves health.

    Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

    Why Dry Hands? Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands; therefore, hands should be dried after washing. However, the best way to dry hands remains unclear because few studies about hand drying exist, and the results of these studies conflict. Additionally, most of these studies compare overall concentrations of microbes, not just disease-causing germs, on hands following different hand-drying methods. It has not been shown that removing microbes from hands is linked to better health. Nonetheless, studies suggest that using a clean towel or air-drying hands are best.

    For More Information Click on These Links:

    - Clean Hands Saves Lives _ CDC Center for Disease Control

    - How to Wash your Hands _ CDC Center for Disease Control

    - Why Wash your Hands _ CDC Center for Disease Control

    - Reduce Infections Dramatically _ Scientific American

    - Washing your hands Wrong? _ Scientific American

  • Facial Coverings

    Mask wear is an essential defense against COVID-19 , but irrational use of mask has caused serious shortage of mask availability for frontline health care workers, who really require it. So, it is recommended that N-95 respirators and surgical masks should not be used by the public, as these are in critical short supply, needing a reserve in hold for medical first responders.

    It is clearly evident from available resources that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted primarily by droplet and contact transmission. Therefore, social distancing, meticulous hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes have taken a significant role in curbing the infection transmission along with use of cloth mask. Use of cloth mask is better than not wearing a covering at all. Though cloth masks can’t block or filter SARS-CoV-2, cloth masks can cut the transmission of the virus from the wearer to others or from others to the wearer by impeding large droplets produced by a cough or sneeze.

    Without a mask many of the aerosol droplets that come out of the nose and mouth will then evaporate turning into aerosolized particles that are 3 to 5-fold smaller. The evaporated or now dehydrated smaller aerosol can float for longer in the air. The point of wearing a mask it to stop this process from occurring.

    Cloth masks could encourage a more mindful behavior including;

    - avoiding touching one’s mouth nose and eyes and not to be exposed face-to-face with a person within 6-feet for more than 10 – 30 minutes. Cloth masks also act as a banner or indicator to easily identify the individuals trying to practice a more mindful behavior. Be very careful and again mindful around people not wearing a mask.

    The probability of transmitting COVID-19 is less if everyone uses a face mask.

    How to Wear a Mask;

    • Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask
    • Do Not touch the mask when wearing it, pulling it up or putting it down
    • Do Not touch eyes, nose or mouth at the time of removing cloth mask
    • and immediately wash hands just after removal.
    • Cloth masks should be washed daily and dept in a clean, dry place without damaging

    Do Wear a Mask that;

    • Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • Fits snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps
    • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
    • You will use in public settings, like on public and mass transports, at events and gatherings
    • Is a fabric that is easy to wash and sanitize

    Do Not

    • Put masks on someone two years and younger
    • Touch the anterior of the mask or put it anywhere, others can touch
    • Wear masks of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl
    • Use exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape
    • Use masks intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks
    • Put masks on people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask

    For More Information Click on These Links:

    - How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask _ CDC Center for Disease Control

    - How to Wash a Cloth Face Covering _ CDC Center for Disease Control

    - IJIART20MAY228…_Journal of Innovative Science

    - Quantitative Method for Comparative Assessment of Particle Removal Efficiency of Fabric Masks….

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  • Workplace Cleanings

    Housekeeping surfaces can be divided into two groups – those with minimal hand-contact (e.g., floors, and ceilings) and those with frequent hand-contact (“high touch surfaces”). However, high-touch housekeeping surfaces in patient-care areas (e.g., doorknobs, light switches) should be cleaned and/or disinfected more frequently than surfaces with minimal hand contact.

    Here in our office, we are using ProSpray wipes for disinfection of high-touch surfaces. ProSpray wipes are an effective disinfectant according to the AOAC Use-Dilution Test, modified in the presence of 5% organic soil load and meets AOAC efficacy standards for hospital-use disinfectants. ProSpray may be used in healthcare, office, transport, commercial and home settings on vinyl, plastics, metals, floors walls, counters, carts and bedside equipment. ProSpray is Tuberculocidal, Virucidal, Bactericidal and Fungicidal. Active ingredients include: phenylphenol and Benzyl-p-chlorophenol.

    Surfaces with minimal hand-contact include horizontal surfaces with infrequent hand contact (e.g., window sills and hard-surface flooring) in routine patient-care areas, require cleaning on a regular basis or when soiling or spills occur. Regular cleaning of surfaces and decontamination, as needed, is also advocated to protect potentially exposed workers. Cleaning of walls, blinds, and window curtains is recommended when they are visibly soiled. Cleaning low-touch surfaces (e.g., floors) is completed with an EPA-registered detergent/disinfectant. Disinfectant fogging is not recommended for general infection control in routine patient-care areas due to the potential inhalation exposure of disinfectant by patients and workers. Methods that produce minimal mists and aerosols or dispersion of dust in patient-care areas are preferred and used here in our office.

    A common misconception is the use of surface disinfectants in health-care settings related to the underlying purpose for use of proprietary products labeled as a “tuberculocidal” germicide. Such products will not interrupt and prevent the transmission of TB in health-care settings because TB is not acquired from environmental surfaces. The tuberculocidal claim is used as a benchmark by which to measure germicidal potency. Because mycobacteria have the highest intrinsic level of resistance among the vegetative bacteria, viruses, and fungi, any germicide with a tuberculocidal claim on the label (i.e., an intermediate-level disinfectant) is considered capable of inactivating a broad spectrum of pathogens, including much less resistant organisms such as the bloodborne pathogens (e.g., hepatitis B virus [HBV}, hepatitis C virus {HCV}, and HIV). It is this broad-spectrum capability, rather than the product’s specific potency against mycobacteria, that is the basis for protocols and OSHA regulations indicating the appropriateness of using tuberculocidal chemicals for surface disinfection.

    While noncritical surfaces have not been implicated directly in disease transmission, these surfaces potentially may contribute to cross-transmission by allowing acquisition of transient hand carriage by health care personnel due to contact with a contaminated surface or by patient contact with contaminated surfaces or medical equipment. Medical equipment surfaces may become contaminated with infectious agents and may serve as the vehicle in outbreaks for person-to-person transmission. This is why evidence-based guidelines recommend the use of hospital disinfectants on noncritical patient care surfaces (e.g., counters), equipment surfaces (e.g., radiograph machines), and housekeeping surfaces e.g., floors) in patient care areas. Here at our office, we believe for the benefits listed above, it is reasonable to use hospital disinfectants on non-critical patient care surfaces.

    For More Information Click on These Links:

    - Environmental Services_Background_Environmental Guidelines_Guidelines Library_Infection Control_CDC

    - The Benefits of surface disinfection

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  • COVID-19 Screening and pre-rinse

    All patients will be screened with a health questionnaire as well as vital signs.  All staff members are screened daily for COVID, including a temperature check.

    All patients are required to rinse with antiseptic pre-rinse prior to being seen.

  • PPE and Infection control

    We have implemented enhanced PPE protocols for all our employees and continue to maintain the high standard of health and safety.

Location

6405 Ming Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309

Phone: (661) 834-9900

Office Hours

MON - THU 7:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (661) 834-9900