Tuesday, June 15th, was an exciting day for Californians as we take a step forward in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state and all nine Bay Area counties have now "opened up" and aligned guidelines for masking and social distancing with those recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It's important to note that these changes do not apply to health care facilities, including dental offices. Masks will continue to be required at our facility, even for people who are fully vaccinated. This helps us keep everyone in our facilities healthy and safe.
What are the changes in mask guidelines?
For people who are fully vaccinated, indoor and outdoor activities pose minimal risk and masks are no longer required. Masks are still required for both fully vaccinated people and unvaccinated people in the following situations:
- Health care and long-term care facilities (including at dental offices)
- Public transit, including busses, trains and airplanes
- In schools (K-12) and at child care facilities
- Emergency or homeless shelters and cooling centers
- The workplace, pending new guidance from Cal/OSHA
People who have not been vaccinated are required to continue wearing a mask indoors in public settings and in businesses (This includes most of our patient population who are under 12 years of age).
We encourage you to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to ending the pandemic. With eligibility currently open to everyone ages 12+, we encourage you and your family to get vaccinated. There are many convenient locations to get the vaccine, including county and state locations and retail pharmacies.
Adjusting to a new normal
As we begin to return to our way of life prior to the pandemic, we encourage everyone to be compassionate and understanding as people's level of comfort with the changing mask guidance may vary. Vaccinated people may choose to stop wearing masks except in those required situations, which is okay to do. Some vaccinated people may choose to continue wearing a mask even when it's not required, and that's also okay to do. The guidelines implemented on June 15 allow any vaccinated person to continue wearing a mask in any situation depending on their preference. Please also be respectful of the practices adopted by businesses in our community. They can still require everyone, including people who have been vaccinated, to wear a mask.
Our Ongoing COVID-19 Protocol
Our commitment to you, our patients, team, and community is simple - we will do everything in our power to provide you with a safe environment for dental care. As leading healthcare professionals in your community, it is our responsibility to consistently follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Infection Control Guidelines for Dental Practices. We have state-of-the-art infection control policies, procedures and systems in place that demonstrate safe and infection-free oral healthcare that meet or exceed the CDC’s Standard Precautions for Dental Practices.
Additional Safety Protocols To Keep You Safe
Increased Safety Standards:
- All our team members have the Personal Protective Equipment recommended by the CDC.
- We will also ask you to wear a mask and comply with social distancing upon your entry to our facility.
- We have a designated sanitation station for you to use a hand sanitizer once you enter the facility.
- The treatment rooms are fogged by a machine which delivers a fine mist for sanitizing and disinfecting large areas.
- Our team members are checked daily for signs or symptoms of illness, including mandatory temperature checks and oxygen level measurements at the beginning and end of each shift.
- We will screen all patients and team members upon arrival to ensure the safety for all.
- Care team members who show any signs or symptoms of a cold, seasonal flu, or COVID-19 must stay home until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider.
- Upon your arrival, we will ask you to ring the doorbell outside our office. Once the staff is ready, they will take your child's temperature and you will be asked a series of COVID-19 symptom screening questions..
- We are limiting seating in all waiting rooms to comply with social distancing standards so we are asking that only one adult accompany the patient. Additional family members are asked to wait in the car or stay at home.
How far we've come from our re-opening in June! Unfortunately Polly is still unable to be at the office.