Nonessential medical, dental, veterinary care restarts across Michigan

Rules will be in place to protect patients

DETROIT – It’s a big step in reopening Michigan, nonessential outpatient care is allowed to continue for doctors, dentists and veterinarians amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

However, it’s not without strict guidelines from Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) including the standard social distancing rules. Personal protective equipment is required for clients and employees and there will be curbside waiting.

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In a place like doctor’s or a dentist office, when patient and caregiver have to be inches apart the rules change. Ranging from low risk check ups where simple masks will do -- to very high risk procedures where droplets of bodily fluid could be easily spread meaning full face shields and heavy sanitizing are expected.

“We’re also going to have some more special equipment some high-volume evacuation stores to really reduce as much of that as possible. I can’t say zero,” said Dr. Stephen Meraw. “On top of that another layer of air filtration and sterilization as well.”

Meraw is the President of the Michigan Dental Association who has several dental and periodontal practices in the state.

In veterinarian offices, family pets will once again be able to get their check ups too. But good luck getting an appointment unless it’s urgent.

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Right now if you call I think our next available appointment is either the 22nd or the 23rd of June,” Dr. Glynes Graham at Patterson Dog and Cat Hospital in Detroit said “We always keep appointments open every day for sick patients so if you call tomorrow morning, and you’re regular clients here, and you have an animal that we should be able to get them into these slots.”

Graham also said in her office owners are only allowed in the entryway and much attach their pets’ leashes to a hook, which is sanitized after each patient, while their human owners wait outside.

Both Graham and Meraw said the increased measures and anxiety over the new procedures and pandemic guidelines should have a conversation with their health professionals before their next visit.

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