Information You Need: Doctor and Dental appointments

Despite doctor and dental offices being open, you may be wondering whether it is safe to attend appointments. Over the past week Arizona has seen a decrease in cases, which is great news! However, it is still important to take safety precautions, as there is still a risk for COVID-19. 

  • Whenever possible, opt for an online or tele-medicine appointment. 
  • People who have a pressing need for medical attention should attend appointments. People who are generally healthy should consider the percentage of positive cases in their community when deciding to attend routine medical appointments. The total percentage of positive cases should be below 5%. For reference, the total percentage of positive cases in Arizona is currently 12%.
Dentist AppointmentsDoctor Appointments
When is it important for me to attend my medical appointment?If you are experiencing a dental issue that needs attention such as pain, suspected cavity, etc.If you are at high risk for a condition or disease, or if you are  managing a chronic condition, still attend routine appointments.

Anyone who has a concern that needs attention, particularly if you are experiencing new or worsening symptoms of illness

If you are due to receive vaccinations

If the appointment is necessary for school, work, or volunteering
What are some important questions to ask before scheduling?1. If you are high risk: ask if there are special hours (typically early morning) for individuals who are at risk for severe COVID-19 disease 

2. For Dentist appointments: Will fewer power tools be used to reduce aerosolized particles?

3. Are you offering online appointments?

4. Is the office operating at reduced capacity?

5. Are patients and staff required to wear face coverings while inside the facility?

6. Are temperature checks required for patients and staff?

7. How long do you wait between patients to place someone in a room?

8. What should I expect when I arrive at my appointment?

9. How is ventilation handled in the patient rooms?

10. What is the testing protocol for staff and/or patients?

11. What are the facility’s disinfection protocols?
What safety precautions should I take:
Before my appointment?If you can, schedule your appointment to be the first appointment of the day because the facility may be less trafficked

Have a discussion with your provider about what exactly you will need done for your appointment (e.g., testing, or certain equipment)

If you are feeling ill, stay home

Take your temperature before arriving at your appointment and stay home if your temperature is over 100 degrees fahrenheit (37.7 degrees celsius)

Avoid bringing anyone with you to your appointment unless absolutely necessary (often caretakers will not be allowed into the patient rooms)

Only bring essential personal items

Consider bringing glasses to wear while you are being examined

If possible, bring your own hand sanitizer to the appointment

Wait outside the facility until you are ready to be seen
During my appointment?Avoid touching surfaces and objects like toys, magazines, etc. in the facility

Wear a face covering at all times while inside the facility – unless it is necessary for you to remove it

Stay at least 6 feet away from staff and other patients whenever possible

Bring your own pen if you need to fill out any paperwork

Keep all items that you brought with you in a single bag, purse or pocket, avoid handling them or setting them on high touch surfaces
After my appointment?Use hand sanitizer as soon as you enter your car

Leave your shoes outside of your home or bring a pair of shoes to change into if you are not going home (you can place the other ones in a plastic bag in your trunk)

Wash your hands with soap and water when you arrive at home or the office

Change your clothes immediately after arriving home or if not returning home, you may bring a change of clothes

Shower after you return home

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