5/28/20: We are very pleased to share the following good news:
1. Our staff member who tested positive is still recovering very well and we continue to expect a full recovery for her. However, she will only return to work once it is deemed safe and she has met all the CDC requirements to do so.
2. All of our other staff members as well as Dr. Lowe tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 and we are all very thankful for this.
3. As of this date and to our knowledge none of our patients have reported having any COVID-19 related symptoms, just as we had hoped and expected.
4. Based on CDC guidelines and Alamance County Health Department recommendations, our office will reopen for regular patient care on Wednesday 6/3/20. Those patients who missed appointments will be contacted as soon as possible to get rescheduled.
Please know that the health, safety and well being of patients, staff and our community are of the utmost importance to us. We had already developed and instituted a strict COVID-19 office protocol based on CDC and health department guidelines prior to our first reopening since the original outbreak. We believed in this protocol then, we believe it has been working very well since and we continue to believe in it now. We will continue to use this same strict protocol when we reopen. Some of the measures being taken include, but are not limited to: thorough screening of all patients and staff, including taking temperatures with touch-less thermometers; minimizing the number of people in the office at any one time; practicing social distancing for those in the office; minimizing the need to touch solid objects such as door handles, pens, etc.; mandating the wearing of masks for all employees and all patients/visitors; minimizing/adjusting procedures that cause aerosol formation; utilizing all recommended PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff and doctor.
In short, our office will continue to do everything in our power to keep you and your family safe as we continue to provide the highest quality orthodontic care available. But we also ask that you do your part to keep yourself and others safe when you come for your appointment by remembering to do all of the following:
- Do not come for your appointment if you answer yes to any of our screening questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms.
- Upon arrival, please stay in your car and “check in” remotely via phone/text; our staff will let you know when it is time for you to enter the office.
- Whenever possible, only the patient should come into the office with parents and/or other family members remaining in the car.
- Everyone is expected to wear a mask while in the office. Due to the shortage of PPE, our office will not be able to provide masks, so please bring your own.
- Everyone is expected to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
- Upon leaving, follow up appointments and/or payments can still be made at the front desk, but can also be made remotely via phone as well.
We want to thank all of you for your patience and understanding during this difficult and often inconvenient time in our history. All of your prayers and support have been greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing all of you very soon! In the mean time, we continue to pray for health and safety for all.
5/27/20: Our staff member who tested positive continues to recover at home. We are very thankful that she is doing well and we continue to expect a full recovery for her. All of our other team members including Dr. Lowe remain symptom free, and to date no patients have reported having any symptoms, just as we had hoped and expected.
Dr. Lowe was finally able to consult with the Alamance County Health Department on Tuesday May 26 when they reopened following the Memorial Day holiday. They were able to confirm what we already believed to be true regarding our situation. Because the appropriate PPE was worn, they consider any possible contact with any of our team members - including the staff member with a positive test result - to be a low risk exposure. As such, their only recommendation for these patients in this situation is careful monitoring of symptoms, as we have already recommended. They do NOT recommend quarantining and/or testing for these patients unless symptoms arise.
Please continue to check back for updates. We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen again soon but will not do so until we are sure that it is the safe thing to do. We will be contacting all patients who are missing appointments as soon as possible to reschedule. We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during these difficult times. Praying for safety and good health for all.
5/25/20: Effective immediately, we are temporarily closing our offices due to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19. On Wednesday morning May 20 one of our staff members reported that she was not feeling well. She did not have a fever at the time but, as a precaution, she was sent home immediately and did not return to work the rest of the week. She was seen by a physician who ordered a COVID-19 test as a precautionary measure. Unfortunately, the staff member did test positive for COVID-19, receiving the result late Saturday afternoon. We are thankful to report that she is recovering well at home and we expect a full recovery for her.
It is very important to note that this staff member followed proper protocol at all times and at no time did she interact with patients without the appropriate PPE including masks, gloves, face shield, etc. Based on our strict adherence to CDC infection control/COVID-19 guidelines, we believe the risk to our patients is low and that it is very unlikely that any of our patients will be adversely affected.
Public safety and the health of our patients and employees is our top priority, so in the best interest of our patients, staff and community, we will be proceeding as follows:
1. Out of an abundance of precaution, our offices will remain temporarily closed. We will reopen and resume patient care when it is deemed safe to do so based on CDC and Alamance County Health Department guidelines. Likewise, the staff member in question will only return to work once she has fully met the CDC guidelines to do so.
2. Our entire staff, including Dr. Lowe, is currently in the process of being tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure.
3. All patients who visited our offices between May 18th and May 20th and may have interacted with the staff member will be contacted directly. Again, we sincerely believe any risk to these patients and their families is low. But to be as safe as possible and to assist the health department with exposure tracking, we are asking these patients to let us know if they should develop any COVID-19 related symptoms.
4. Once we are set to reopen, we will be contacting all patients who missed appointments during this time to reschedule them as soon as reasonably possible. Please know that our office has been deep cleaned since this incident and will continue to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis pursuant to CDC standards.
We want to reemphasize that the safety, health, and well being of our patients, staff and community have always been and most certainly continue to be of the utmost importance to us. Please continue to check back to this site for updates as they become available. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon. In the mean time, we are praying that everyone stays safe and healthy.