The spread of the COVID-19 has been the dominating the news and it is important for practice owners and teams to prepare to respond as it continues to develop both in Canada and globally.

Here are ways you can take steps to protect your team, your patients and your community.

How you can protect your team

  • Promote good hygiene, including hand washing – post signs instructing on proper handwashing procedures
  • Ensuring ongoing cleaning of surfaces such as phones, reception desks, keyboards etc. where the virus may reside
  • Have your sick policy updated and ensure you communicate it clearly to all team members
  • Consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time
  • Advise team members to review the Government of Canada’s travel health notices before doing any international travel and require team members to report if they have been, or will be travelling, to any high-risk areas

How you can prevent the spread through patient and visitor interaction

  • Screen your Patients and visitors, by phone, At the door or at reception prior to treating
  • Post signs in your reception area asking patients with symptoms to identify themselves.
  • Follow provincial guidelines when a patient or visitor is deemed a “person under investigation”
  • Continue to follow established processes and protocols described in your Infection Prevention and Control Standards.
  • Ensure you report all suspected cases to your local public health unit

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. (World Health Organization – Health Topics – Coronavirus, 2020)

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. (World Health Organization – Newsroom – Questions and answers – coronavirus, 2020)

For more information about how to protect the spread of COVID-19 please visit

You Dental Provincial Regulatory Body, CDSBC, Alberta Dental Association & College, Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, ODQ,  RCDSO, ADA, Public Health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization,

Still have questions – give us a call 800-345-5157 or email [email protected]

 

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