Metro Dentalcare will continue to require masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated patients and team members in our clinics. The CDC guidelines and the Minnesota Department of Health continue to require that even fully vaccinated people must still wear a mask in health care settings, this includes dental clinics. The federal mask mandate that was extended to Sept. 13.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
1. Are your providers vaccinated?
As Health Care workers, our providers were one of the first groups to be offered the vaccine. Some of our teams chose to receive the vaccine, while others did not. The choice is up to the providers to decide if they would like to receive the vaccine.
2. Is the provider that I am seeing vaccinated?
I don’t know. Often, our team members are also our patients. We protect their health information just like we protect your health information.
3. Why can’t Metro Dentalcare require your teams to be vaccinated?
The vaccines that are currently being used have Emergency Use Authorizations. It is unclear if employers can require employees to be vaccinated or not. Typically, there must be a regulatory mandate or legislative action that would allow us to require our team members to be vaccinated. If the status of the vaccine changes, Metro Dentalcare will respond appropriately.
4. How are you keeping me safe?
Keep in mind, dental practices in Minnesota were able to reopen before there was a vaccine. In some states, dental practices continued to operate throughout the pandemic. Even in those states, the transmission rates within a dental practice were always below the rate of community spread in their area. The PPE that we wear during procedures has not changed with the arrival of a vaccine and the opportunity for our providers to be vaccinated. We continue to wear a mask during our entire workday, except when we are eating. We wear a level 3 mask, safety glasses, scrubs, face shield and gloves during non-aerosol (without combined air/water spray) procedures. If we are doing aerosols (with combined air/water spray), we wear an N95 mask, safety glasses, scrubs, face shield, disposable or laundered gown and gloves.
5. I am really scared; this is the first time that I have left my house in over a year.
I understand. This virus is unpredictable and that makes it scary. We are here to care for your oral health and have taken steps to do that as safely as possible. If you don’t feel as though you would like to stay; we can certainly reschedule your appointment.
6. Why do I still have to wear a mask at your office?
Metro Dentalcare will continue to require masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated patients and team members in our clinics. The CDC guidelines continue to say that even fully vaccinated people must still wear a mask in health care settings (this includes dental clinics). It also applies to other areas such as transportation hubs such as airports and stations, and public transportation. That includes planes, buses and trains traveling into, within or outside of the U.S. as part of a federal mask mandate that was extended to Sept. 13.
COVID-19 PATIENT PROTOCOL
Metro Dentalcare is committed to providing the safest environment for our patients and our staff. Based off the current recommendations from the CDC and Minnesota Board of Dentistry, we need to ask you a series of questions before any patient contact can occur.
- Have you exhibited any signs of illness such as fever or respiratory symptoms?
- Have you recently traveled? CDC Coronavirus Travel Notices (Locations currently given a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19).
- Have you had a fever greater than 100.0?
- Have you had any loss of taste or smell?
- Have you had any close contact with any individual diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19?
If possible, please arrive alone. If this is not possible, we will ask that anyone accompanying you to remain in the parking lot. This is a recommendation of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry and CDC to reduce unnecessary contact between individuals.
Before being seen, we will take and record your temperature with temporal scanner. This will help us ensure that safety of our team. Our team has their temperature recorded every morning to ensure your safety.
Some procedures may seem different as we are taking some additional steps to provide a safe visit in our current environment. We will use a pretreatment 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse prior to examination of the oral cavity to reduce microbial load.