Message from Dr. Reynolds concerning the Coronavirus
I wanted to contact our dental family concerning the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, there are about 3000 confirmed cases in the US, with 13 being in Alabama. Compared to this year’s flu, which has 29 million cases and 16000 deaths in the US alone, COVID—19 has far fewer cases, but seems easier to spread. Latest study shows that 90% of the cases are in those over 30, with only 2% being in children under 19. Deaths coming from this are coming primarily in those with underlying health conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease or diabetes.
The dental community has long been prepared to prevent infectious disease spread. We adhere to universal precautions such as single use gloves and masks, sterilization and disinfecting measures to minimize risks at all times. Lately, we are paying special attention to disinfect common “touch” surfaces like door handles, counter tops, sink handles, chairs and other surfaces. We will begin to check the temperatures of our staff and patients and send home individuals with fever as an additional precaution.
What does this mean for routine dental treatment? If you have an upcoming appointment with us, we feel the risk of you catching anything is very low. Unlike medical facilities, we generally do not see sick people. If you fall in the high-risk categories for the COVID-19 virus, then you may want to reschedule routine services for now. If you are feeling sick, have a fever or are exposed to a sick family member or friend, then perhaps this is not a good time for you to have non-emergency treatment. Let us know and we will be happy to move your appointment to a later date.
This is an unprecedented time and none of us know how to react, but it is not a time to panic but to use common sense precautions. Wash your hands often and use alcohol-based sanitizers. Limit your exposure to crowds and sick people. Stay home if you are sick or are caring for a sick person. We will likely see the numbers of infected people go up with more testing and it will take awhile for our latest restrictions to begin to reduce the spread.
Check on your elderly family members and neighbors to make sure they have basic supplies, so they do not have to get out. This will have a huge economic impact on our community. Walmart and McDonalds will be fine, but our small businesses and their employees will suffer. Consider visiting these businesses instead. You will come in contact with fewer people. Get take-out from your favorite restaurant and buy gift certificates if you are uncomfortable going there. Plan your trips knowing just what you need. Most important remain calm, be smart and life will return to normal soon.