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Ontario Declares an Emergency Lockdown

Posted in COVID-19, and Dental Care

Emergency Lockdown or “Stay at Home Order”

Since Saturday December 26th, 2020 at 12:01 am, Ontario has been in an “emergency lockdown” (and “Stay at Home Order”) due to a surge in the cases of COVID-19.  As we talked about in a previous blog there are many factors that contribute to the Provincial Governments decision to close businesses. (see “COVID-19 Threat Level by Color“) The current “Stay at Home Order” was scheduled to end Saturday, January 23rd, but was extended to Feb 11th. These current Emergency Restrictions supersede the governments COVID-19 Response Framework (color-coded zones), setting its own priorities and requirements.

When the virus was initially gaining ground in Ontario (early April 2020) clinics, retail stores, and businesses in general were not tooled to prevent or resist the virus while staying open in any capacity. Things are very different today. Businesses have evolved with government requirements based on advice from health officials to create safer environments, with the goal of opening for reduced numbers of customers, clients, and patients. Therefore, lockdowns have vastly different restrictions. Some businesses can now stay open during a lockdown, ones that early in the pandemic were forced to close.

A Heritage of High Standards

Pre-pandemic, most people didn’t think twice about the extensive lengths their dentist went to, in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases or viruses. The very nature of the work demands strict protocols for prevention. As well, the nature and attitude of Dr. Stephen Mathews only strengthens Erbsville Dentals fortified defenses to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.  

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) demands strict adherence to the highest standards of medical disinfection and sterilization. To a dentist these standards are doctrines. In many cases a dental clinic can be cleaner and more sterile than medical operating rooms. Why? Many dental procedures involve aerosolization of blood and saliva. Surgery preformed on the body rarely involve aerosolization (atomizing or spraying) of bodily fluids. As well, the human mouth and nose is home to a large population of dangerous organisms.

According to Dr. Michael John of London Health Sciences, (see “Risk of Bacterial Transmission in Dental Practice”) bacteria that may be transmitted in a dental office include forms of tuberculosis and staphylococcus aureus that have become resistant to antibiotics. He said, “During the winter months, 10 to 20% of all people may be asymptomatic carriers. Bacteria that can be spread in this way include group A streptococci, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Bordetella pertusis. These bacteria can cause a wide range of illnesses from pneumonia, to “strep throat” to meningitis.” The potential to spread bacteria and viruses has always been a dentist’s concern, even years before the threat of COVID-19.

Dental Offices Open During Lockdown

Rather than discourage dental visits, this information should build confidence that when visiting Erbsville Dental in Waterloo you will be relatively safe. Relatively, because it would be irresponsible to let down our guard. COVID-19 is a real and dangerous threat, but after a year, statistics are proving people are not getting it from visiting their dentist. In addition to usual safety precautions, Erbsville Dental has implemented numerous and effective countermeasures to stop COVID-19 and other biological contaminates.

Furthermore, the Ontario wide “Emergency Lockdown” does not require dental offices to close. In fact, you can still book regular dental appointments, including check-ups and cleanings, even procedures that result in moments of aerosolization. When this all began, only emergency dental procedures were permitted during a lockdown. Things have changed this year, but the values of Erbsville Dental remain steadfast. Erbsville Dental is “caring, friendly, Experienced” and as always safe.