Following the prime minister’s announcement last night, the U.K. is now in lockdown 3.0. This has been implemented due to the alarming rise in infection numbers throughout the country. The new variant of the coronavirus has been blamed for this as it appears to be a lot more infectious although not seeming to cause any escalation in disease or symptoms. This means that we all have to stay at home and only leave for specific reasons as outlined in the guidance published by gov.uk. One of the exceptions is for health reasons. Gov.uk also recommends closure of all non -essential retail but doctors and dentists can remain open.
For these reasons, Cornerways will still re-open on 7 January 2021 as planned. However, we will need to be even more rigid in our infection control protocols if we are to provide dental care in an acceptably safe manner.
As mentioned in my previous update pre appointment health screening will be essential unless you qualify for the alternative criteria mentioned. i.e. NHS workers who are self- testing, if you have been fully vaccinated, if you can show positive antibodies from a recent positive exposure or if you’re happy to undergo a lateral flow test immediately prior to your appointment. You will not be permitted to enter the premises unless you comply with these criteria.
One point I’d like to mention is that we have structured our appointment book in such a way as to allow sufficient time between patients so as to minimize the risk of transmission from one patient to another. You may have noticed that we try very hard to stick to this schedule and run on time. If, due to unforeseen circumstances you run very late for your appointment, please inform us and we will book you another appointment. We will not be able to see you if too much of your scheduled time has elapsed as this will then have a domino effect into all subsequent appointments for that day, thus compromising safety.
We will continue to check temperatures when you arrive, hands must be decontaminated and social distancing within the common areas of the practice will be enforced.
We will still maintain our high level of PPE when performing dental procedures here in the practice and we will still stick rigidly to our infection control protocols. This is not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our patients.
However, we fully understand that not everyone will be keen to come to the dentist during these very trying times for a multitude of reasons. So, if you have an appointment booked and do not wish to attend, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can assign your appointment to someone else.
As you are well aware, this is a continually changing scenario for all of us and we will try to keep our ears as close to the ground as possible. We will endeavour to keep you as up to date with any new developments as and when they happen.
For now, follow the guidance, stay safe.
The Cornerways Team