Cancellation of Appointments and Inability to Accept New Patients in March 2020 due to Coronavirus
Starting on Monday, March 16, and continuing at least the following two weeks in March, we must start new restrictions on patient care. This is based on our concern for the safety of our patients and staff and the latest advice we have received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the coronavirus outbreak.
Please read all this information carefully.
If you have an appointment at Waterville Community Dental Center for routine dental treatment (such as a checkup, cleaning, filling, or crown), the appointment is canceled, and we will work with you to reschedule it. We are now restricting treatment to urgent or emergency care only.
Dental care settings invariably carry the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Dental patients and professionals have a higher risk of exposure because of the closeness during dental work that increases exposure to the aerosolized particles that carry and spread the virus.
We always strictly follow universal precautions, meaning we do all that is suggested and required in our normal operations to prevent transmission of any disease. Unfortunately, there is an insufficient supply of the needed aerosol-filtering masks and other protective equipment to ensure the safety of our clinical staff. As our employees’ and patients’ safety is our highest priority, we have made the decision to close except to provide urgent or emergency care until the COVID-19 situation is stabilized.
Urgent or emergency care for adults at WCDC will be provided at our office for the foreseeable future. In order to be seen in the office, you must have one or more of these conditions:
If you do require urgent care, please do not come in without first calling the office at 207-861-5801. We will return your call at our earliest opportunity.
We are sorry that we must restrict our patient care this way. We are serving our patients in the safest manner possible by following the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under these difficult circumstances. In doing this, we will protect the health and safety of our patients, our care providers, and the whole community. We hope you understand, and we thank you for your cooperation.
What should I do during this time?
I have a scheduled appointment at Waterville Community Dental Center. What should I do?
If you have an appointment for routine care in the month of March (such as an exam, a cleaning, or a filling), it is being canceled. Following expert recommendations, we are now restricting patient visits to urgent or emergency care only, as indicated above. We will work with you to reschedule your visit. There are a few limited exceptions, which are also listed above.
To reschedule an appointment or if you have any questions, please call us and await a call back. We are, as one could expect, fielding a high number of phone calls and will return your call as soon as we can.
If I have an urgent appointment at Waterville Community Dental Center, who can I bring to the office with me?
Translators, parents, guardians, and other necessary support people are welcome to come with our patients to appointments but must stay in the waiting area unless their presence in the treatment room is required for treatment. You are expected to honor social distancing recommendations and remain 6 feet from others in hallways and reception areas, and during social interactions. Depending on how many people are in the waiting area, they may be asked to wait in another area or outside. They must pass our office’s COVID-19 screening procedure on arrival. Additional screening may continue later. Any other people, including children, may NOT accompany the patient to his/her appointment.
Please note carefully: Patients may be accompanied into the actual treatment area by another person or service animal ONLY if their presence is essential for completion of the dental treatment. An accompanying person must first pass all our screening for COVID-19, including the absence of any fever over 100 degrees F. This screening must be done by our office’s personnel.
I have been calling Waterville Community Dental Center and cannot reach anyone. What should I do?
You may also contact us through email at: . Once you have contacted us, you may need to wait one workday until you hear back from us. We are trying to respond to our patients’ calls and emails as quickly as possible, but under the current circumstances, our response may be delayed.
Frequently asked questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
(NOTE: This has been updated with new information on March 14, 2020.)
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS- CoV-2.
Although we have a lot to learn about this virus, it appears to spread like other respiratory viruses — by people with the infection coughing and sneezing. These droplets are inhaled by other people or moved to the eyes, nose, or mouth by contaminated hands.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are flu-like and include fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications or those over age 60, may develop more severe symptoms, including severe pneumonia.
What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you have a cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call and speak with your health care provider before going to a medical facility. Do not go to an emergency room.
If you believe you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 9-1-1.
If you do feel ill, don’t panic. Most people who get the novel coronavirus disease have only minor symptoms and do not need medical care. In fact, most people with symptoms who are tested for COVID-19 have a negative test. Their symptoms are most likely due to influenza or seasonal allergies. However, you should contact your doctor to inform him/her of your symptoms and get advice.
If you have a mild case, your doctor may advise you to treat your symptoms at home. Staying home also helps prevent you from exposing other people to the disease.
For those who have a more serious case, call before you head to the urgent care or emergency room. That will help the medical team to prepare for your arrival, so you can receive the fastest and best possible care. It will also help them to protect other people from your infection.
Should I be tested for COVID-19?
Testing is generally conducted at a health care provider’s office. Not everybody who feels ill needs to be tested, particularly if you have mild illness. If you are sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, and are in a high-risk group, call your health care provider to discuss whether you should be tested for COVID-19.
What should I do to keep myself and those close to me safe?
The most important steps to take are the same as for every cold and flu season:
Public Health — people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. This is called “social distancing” and means that in any group, you would never be closer than 6 feet from any other person. People at higher risk include:
Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
For more information on COVID-19, visit Maine CDC’s webpage.