May 15, 2020
To all OASECT patients and parents:
We hope that this letter finds you and your family in good health and in good spirits. Our community has been through a lot over the past few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same, and that’s our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, as you have seen during your visits with us.
Following recent guidance from the Governor and the Connecticut State Dental Association, we are at last able to open our doors to you again! Over the next few weeks, we will slowly begin to see our routine patients who are in active treatment. While we are VERY excited to see you, we did have to cancel many, many appointments since March 16. We will do our best to accommodate everyone, but it will take time. We thank you in advance for your patience as we begin the rescheduling process.
During the office shutdown period, we have worked hard to stay on top of all the new recommendations for infection control and PPE. Our office follows infection control recommendations as developed by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies closely so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that they issue for us.
You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. In order to enhance your safety and that of our office staff, please take note of the following:
- Our office will communicate with you before your visit to ask some health screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office, and we will take the patient’s temperature using a touchless IR thermometer.
- We will ask each patient to review and sign a supplemental informed consent form. We will provide a link to this form in advance of your appointment.
- Patients will be greeted by one of our staff members at a check in station set up near the front door. Patients and parents are expected to come into the office wearing masks.
- We have hand sanitizer available that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will find sanitizer in the reception area and other places throughout the office. Also, please wash your hands if you have not done so recently.
- You will note that we have removed the magazines, toys, and coffee service from our reception area.
- We ask that PATIENTS ONLY enter the clinic. We ask that most parents wait in their cars. Parents of the youngest patients may remain in the reception area, and must wear a mask. We will do our best to update you on treatment progress either in person following the appointment, or on the phone.
- All patients should brush their teeth AT HOME before coming in for the appointment. Also please use the bathroom as necessary before visiting us.
- We will manage appointments to allow for social distancing between patients. In order to allow for proper social distancing, and to enable us to see an appropriate number of patients each day, we plan to see patients in our WATERFORD AND NORWICH OFFICES ONLY through the summer. As our Groton and Pawcatuck fans know, it would be challenging to see more than 1-2 patients at a time while observing proper social distancing. We will re-assess our plans and will re-open our Groton and Pawcatuck offices in September as appropriate, depending upon the status of the pandemic in our region.
- We will offer extended hours on some days, and will add in additional days in an effort to accommodate everyone.
- We will do all that we can to keep as many patients as possible “on schedule” with their treatment. The COVID-19 related office closure will unfortunately cause some relatively minor delays for some of you. We wish this were not the case, but we must all be realistic regarding the effects of the extended office closure.
- At the time of this writing, our scheduling coordinators are diligently reaching out to you to reschedule your appointments, starting with the patients whose appointments were canceled in March. Don’t worry, we have kept a careful record of ALL missed appointments. We know who you are! Please understand that we are doing our best to be as “fair” as possible as we reschedule everyone, and we will reschedule March appointments first, then April, and finally May. We respectfully request that you hold off on calling us, and allow our Team members to do their work. They will reach out to you in a fair and systematic way.
- We look forward to seeing you again, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep our patients and staff safe in the new environment.
Dr. James O’Leary, Dr. Gregory Hack, and the entire Team at OASECT