A Message About COVID-19

March 16, 2020


The health and well-being of our members, our employees and all of their families is our top priority. We are actively monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and want to assure you that we have developed a coordinated strategy across our organization to address the issue as it evolves. We are focused on ensuring patients continue to receive oral care and treatment, and that their care providers receive timely reimbursement for the services they provide.

We want to share a number of precautions and recommendations to help ensure that you, and those around you, stay healthy.

 

Keeping You Healthy

As always, we recommend practicing active and appropriate hygiene. Wash your hands frequently. If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve. If you don’t feel well, please stay at home.

While we are sure that most you have been inundated with the following, we thought it would be a good reminder that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.

We know there is a strong connection between oral health and overall health, so it’s especially important you do all you can to stay healthy. Gum disease can weaken your immune system. So being proactive about your oral health – while it may not prevent you from getting sick – can certainly help keep your body’s natural defenses strong.

 

The Role of your Dentist in Maintaining a Safe Environment for Staff and Patients

The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued a detailed guide for dental providers which will help you understand the steps and precautions dental professionals are being asked to take to ensure your health and safety. Offices are being asked to follow the same stringent cleaning and disinfection strategies used during flu season. Additionally, they are receiving recommendations for ways to decrease risk through no-touch receptacles, reducing potential exposure in small or crowded waiting rooms by offering patients the option to wait in their car or somewhere else close-by and receive a phone call or text message when it is their turn for treatment, as well as extra care when assisting patients who may have a cough or other respiratory symptoms.

For important updates and the latest information about Coronavirus, we strongly recommend reviewing and following the Novel Coronavirus guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

For more information and tips to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, check out the Red Cross’ Coronavirus: Safety and Readiness Tips for You.


We will continue to actively monitor information about Coronavirus from the CDC, ADA and other public health agencies and provide updates as they become available.