Dental practices reopen in Virginia

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The Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, has announced that dental practices will be able to reopen.

Governor Northam confirmed that the current lockdown measures will start to ease from May 1st, with dental clinics reopening and elective surgery starting again among the first steps towards normality. 

Although dentists have been given the green light to open their doors, it is expected that many practices will remain closed. Rebecca Swett, from Swett Dentistry in Albemarle County, is one of those wary of opening straight away. She said that it was essential to make the right moves at the right time to protect both patients and staff. 

At present, reopening would mean that patients and the staff team have a very different experience when going to the dentist or turning up at work, and Ms Swett would rather wait to ensure a smoother transition. If clinics open now, patients would be having their temperature tested on entry and staff would be wearing additional PPE, which impacts interaction. Rather than throwing the doors open on Monday 4th May, Ms Swett is keen to wait a few more weeks and stagger appointments to prioritise safety and wellbeing. 

It is expected that practices that do open will be dealing with emergency cases and getting in touch with patients who were part-way through treatment before arranging routine procedures and check-ups.

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