AGOURA HILLS (CBSLA) — Patients this week were only being seen on an emergency basis at Garfinkle Family Dental in Agoura Hills, but that is set to change next week as restrictions on dental offices begin to lessen.
Starting Monday, the office will begin seeing regular patients, but not before they have their temperatures taken and answer a series of questions.READ MORE: Parolee Aariel Maynor Arrested In Connection With Jacqueline Avant Killing After Shooting Himself In The Foot
“We ask then, ‘Have you traveled out of the country in the past two weeks? Have you had a cough recently? Have you been short of breath recently,” Suellen Pollick, office manager, said.
Not only will patients be required to wear masks and gloves inside the office, they will also see a number of new protocols in place in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Things are different in the office,” Dr. Mindy Garfinkle said. “Normally to work I would wear kind of business attire, now I’m in full scrubs, we’re getting booties for our shoes, and I have a surgical gown.”
Garfinkle and her husband, Dr. Adam Garfinkle, said they have also changed their mask protocol.
“Now what were going to be doing is using the K-N95, ideally N95, but unfortunately due to the shortage everywhere, we’re doing this and double masking,” she said. “So, this is our new protocol for anyone who’s going to be seeing patients where there’s active aerosol.”Several Small Burbank Shops Targeted In Early Morning Burglary Spree
Along with the masks, dentists don a face shield for further protection.
“So, this is the new normal,” Garfinkle said.
The office has also added additional equipment to limit the amount of aerosols in the office, including a separate air filtration system for operation rooms that will filter out viruses and bacteria and high-volume suction tools for assistants.
“So as we’re working as dentists and we’re creating those aerosols, they’re going to be immediately vacuumed up,” Garfinkle said. “So that will help reduce the aerosols as well.”
And while they’re adding items in rooms to decrease aerosols, the practice has also removed items from the office including magazines, tables and coffee and tea.
“That all had to go,” Pollick said.
Another way the office is working to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 is by asking patients to stay in their cars and call into the office before coming in for their appointments.MORE NEWS: Scooter Rider Struck, Killed In South LA; Driver Detained
“It protects the patients, it protects the staff, it protects everyone,” Garfinkle said. “And that’s always been our biggest concern: the health of our staff and our patients, and I think we’re just moving in the right direction.”