Breaking news this week is that the UK’s coronavirus alert level has been moved from level 4 to level 3. This means that transmission of the virus is no longer judged to be “high or exponentially rising”. This opens the door for physical distancing measures to be cut and a speedier return to life as we knew it. Mention has also been made of bars and restaurants re-opening early in July.
We have now completed our second week back at work after lockdown and apart from a few small hiccups, everything ran very smoothly. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have attended these last 2 weeks for being so patient, understanding and compliant with our new operating procedures. You have made our working environment here so much easier. Many thanks!
We were all fit tested for our new respirators on Saturday 20 June. This involved thoroughly checking that our respirators fit us properly and that our safety is ensured. In the surgeries now, we will look like a cross between Darth Vader and the Minions!
There has been much written, debated and argued about the threat of the so-called aerosols we produce during our routine dental procedures. The science tells us that provided we wear all the appropriate PPE, the threat to us is minimal. The threat to our patients is probably less. However, this does not mean that we will sit idly by with our fingers crossed, hoping for the best. We will be taking delivery of two air purifying units on Monday 22 June, one for each surgery. According to the manufacturers, these units are able to filter out particles in the air down to 0.0146 micron in size. The coronavirus is about 0.1 micron in size. Theoretically then, these units will be able to remove all potentially harmful particles from the air in our two surgeries. In addition, we will allow for some so-called fallow time between patients, so that if any hazardous particles are floating about in the air, there is enough time for them to settle on to a surface and then be simply wiped away with a detergent. In addition to this, all windows and in both surgeries will be left open during this fallow time to allow for maximum air exchange. By so doing, we are minimizing the risk of cross infection within the surgeries.
With the above in place, we will be ready to commence routine dental work probably by the first week of July. This will include Guided Biofilm Therapy which as you know is the new improved method to clean your teeth.
Last week we installed a new piece of software which will allow patients to complete forms such as patient details, medical history, oral health survey and contact consent via their internet connected devices through their Patient Portal. You will receive an e mail or text from us asking you to fill out your forms. There is a small video clip enclosed in this
e mail showing you how to use the Portal. To access the Pateint Portal, click or tap on “Fill out your forms” then simply enter your surname and date of birth. Then please complete or update your forms as comrehensively as possible. In future, the Covid-19 questionnaire and treatment plans could be added too to further enhance this service.
We are investigating the possibility of implementing coronavirus antibody testing here at Cornerways. This test will provide results within 15-20 minutes and will provide information as to whether patients have or have not been previously been infected with the virus. Many people have reported that they think they were affected and report all the pathognomonic symptoms. A positive result would imply a possible future immunity allowing these individuals to make better informed decisions as to how their lives can be managed. Such individuals could also donate plasma which has been shown to help those patients currently fighting the disease. For us, knowing your antibody status may even help us to better manage your treatment protocols. This antibody test is purely elective and will not be a requirement for patients to receive treatment at this practice. Watch this space!
In the meantime, take advantage of the new relaxed measures but remember to stay aware! We’re all in this together, we will get through this!