Member Alert: COVID-19 Update
March 15, 2020
The continued spread of COVID-19 across the country is concerning to all of us, and the numbers of cases is expected to increase over the next several weeks. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we have a responsibility to help our patients and yet protect our staff, ourselves and the community from this contagion.
Taking additional precautionary steps could slow the spread of this virus. If unchecked, the number of coronavirus patient cases could add significant stresses to our healthcare system not seen in many years.
We recommend you follow the CDC guidelines and minimize risks. To free up beds for coronavirus patients, we may see restrictions on hospital-based elective surgeries. In the interest of patient safety, however, outpatient elective surgeries should continue with appropriate screenings that include asking about travel, URI or flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days. If yes and the patient’s temperature is above 99.1 F, the OMS should consider delaying surgery for at least 14 days.
AAOMS believes these decisions can be capably made by the individual surgeon on a case-by-case basis. Continue to check your state’s department of health website for specific guidance. In addition, we are tracking legislation and regulations regarding sick leave and family leave.
In your practice, it is prudent to wipe down all surfaces thoroughly between patients, including frequent cleaning of waiting room chairs. The following links provide additional guidance for healthcare professionals:
- CDC Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- WHO Information and Guidance: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41368-020-0075-9
- Johns Hopkins University (latest global case numbers): https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
- ACS Recommendations for Management of Elective Surgical Procedures: https://www.facs.org/about-acs/covid-19/information-for-surgeons
We want you to know AAOMS is following this situation carefully as it is changing rapidly. We will do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date and evidence-based recommendations.
Victor Nannini, DDS, FACS
Scott Farrell, MBA, CPA
AAOMS Executive Director