I will be addressing 2 subjects on this update:
- The position and the actions taken this week by SFDS on the patient testing requirement
- Fit testing and our progress in acquiring PPE for all dentists in San Francisco
SFDS POSITION ON COVID-19 TESTING
Communication with the San Francisco Health Officer has greatly improved. It is largely because SFDS represents 75% of the dentists in San Francisco that Dr. Aragon met with the executive committee on Wednesday evening from 7-9 PM. During that meeting, we heard Dr. Aragon’s position and reasoning behind requiring testing for patients, and he heard all of your concerns from us.
SFDS explained that although we support the idea of testing as a valuable tool in controlling the spread of this pandemic, we don’t believe that the tests we have available can adequately be implemented as a requirement and condition for a patient to receive aerosol producing dental treatment. The executive committee asked Dr. Aragon to change his directive to read, “strongly recommend testing” instead of “require”. We were in communication with Dr. Aragon this morning and he has advised us that there will be some changes to the directives. As soon as we hear specifics of any changes in the directives, we will update you immediately.
This meeting with Dr. Aragon was a great opportunity to put dentistry’s concerns before the person that will make the decision. Again, I thank you for your support – it is because of this united voice that we now have a seat at the table. Thank you for being part of the SFDS. Even though things seemed at a standstill, I can assure that we have been working at an insane pace to make things happen.
FIT TESTING AND PPE
The city informed us that we would be receiving PPE (2 brands of N95 masks, shields, gowns) to distribute to members and non-members alike. We negotiated to have some of the masks made available for the fit testing that started on 5-29-20. I picked up a small quantity from their warehouse at Laguna Honda Hospital for the fit testing. Members and their staff that were tested on Friday had the option of being fitted with an SFDS/City supplied mask or bringing their own.
We were informed on Friday that the city would be shipping a different mask from what was provided by the SFDS on Friday and that we could not get the new brand of mask in time for Friday’s fit testing. After expressing to the city that this change left people being tested for the wrong mask, they agreed to provide enough of the first mask for those that had been fitted to that model for us to include in the PPE distribution. All future fit testing at SFDS will be with the different model of mask from the one used originally. This creates a lot more work and complication for the distribution of the PPE. We are eventually expecting 25 palettes of PPE. This will require that we pick it up and re-package it into lots/kits for distribution to over 1000 dentists. Each kit will contain a set number of masks, gowns, and shields. We will let everyone know in a future Update when we will have that available for members to pick up.
And finally, for those who have been calling the office inquiring about testing sites for your patients, your staff, and yourself, a new State of California testing site has opened at City College Student Health Center, 50 Frida Kahlo Way., M-F, 7:00 AM – 7 PM, administered by
. This site is available to all California residents and appointments are required.
hank you for your continued support. I will continue to update you on our progress.