High Desert Dental is following the recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and asking patients to reschedule your appointment if you are not feeling well. If you or a family member has an appointment, and answer YES to the following questions, please call us at 208-350-6795 to reschedule your appointment.
- Do you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher or have taken medication to lower your fever in the last 48 hours?
- Do you have a cough and sore throat?
- Do you have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath?
- Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside the U.S. in the last two weeks?
Also, if you do not go to school or work because you are not feeling well, please reschedule your appointment with our office.
Please use good judgement in rescheduling if needed. There is nothing so urgent with your dental treatment that you should risk your health or the health of those you come in contact with if you are not feeling well. Thank you for your understanding and caring for those around you.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises the following prevention methods:
Wash Hands Frequently
Use soap and water for visibly dirty hands for a minimum of 20 seconds or rub with an alcohol-based hand rub until hands are dry for non-visibly dirty hands.
Practice Respiratory Hygiene
When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue — discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Maintain Social Distancing
Maintain a three to six foot distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose & Mouth
Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
Seek Medical Care Early
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area where the virus has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has traveled from these areas of sustained transmission and has respiratory symptoms.
If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within areas of sustained transmission, still seek medical care and be sure to carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.
Animal Proximity Precautions
Practice general hygiene measures when visiting farms, live animal markets, wet markets, animal product markets or contact with wild animals. Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products.
Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
For the most up-to-date information on possible vaccines, treatments, FAQs, news and more, please visit the following official health organizations:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — https://www.cdc.gov/
- World Health Organization (WHO) — https://www.who.int/
- Idaho Official Resources — https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/
- City of Boise — https://www.cityofboise.org/departments/mayor/coronavirus-covid-19-information/
COVID-19 Office Sterilization Protocols
We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our dental offices. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of severely contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, and they are equally effective in managing the spread of influenza and coronavirus. Below is a summary of the steps currently in place to ensure patient and employee safety:
- Employee Health Screening: All employees and affiliated providers undergo detailed background and health history screenings before commencing employment. In addition, we strictly enforce sick policies that require employees suffering from communicable illnesses to stay home from work until they have written clearance by a physician to return and have received supervisor approval. Employees who have traveled to an area with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 Travel Health Noticeare required to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to work.
- Patient Health Screening: Due to concerns about patient and employee safety, we ask that non-emergency patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing) and patients who have returned from travel to a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice in the past 14 days reschedule their appointments. All patients will undergo a pre-treatment screening interview and temperature check upon arrival in accordance with CDC and American Dental Association® recommended guidelines.
- Sterilization Procedures: The foundation of our infection control procedures is based on requirements established by the CDC that state that all body fluids are treated as infectious because patients with blood-borne infections can be asymptomatic or unaware that they are infected. This includes body fluids in airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in our office, which includes gowns, eye-protective wear with side protection, face shields, masks and gloves, are designed to ensure that no blood or body fluids can be passed between staff and patients. These items are washed and/or discarded between patients to mitigate any patient-to-patient transmission. Strict surface sterilization procedures are followed to clean and disinfect all operatory surfaces between patients, and after each use, all dental instruments are cleaned and heat sterilized in steam autoclave machines in individual sterile pouches.
- Common Area Disinfecting: As a result of the current coronavirus concern, we have taken added precautions in the common areas. All magazines and pamphlets have been removed. Lobby surfaces and patient restrooms are disinfected every 30 minutes. This includes a thorough wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, doorknobs, tables, chairs and front office counters with Cavicide wipes, a CDC-approved commercial sterilization agent. In addition, the area is sprayed with disinfectant, and hand sanitizer is available to all patients in the lobby and back office area.
According to the CDC, the most important steps we all can take to avoid infection from airborne diseases are frequent hand washing with soap and water and regular cleansing of highly-used surfaces with disinfectant. We recommend that all our patients take these basic precautions.