Reopening

Reopening Dental Offices For Routine Care Amid Pandemic Touches A Nerve

Tom Peeling wanted his teeth cleaned and wasn’t going to let the coronavirus pandemic get in the way.

Luckily, his six-month regular appointment was scheduled for earlier this month, just days after dental offices were allowed to reopen in Florida for routine services. In late March the state ordered dentists to treat only emergency cases as part of its efforts to keep residents at home and to preserve limited medical supplies, such as N95 masks, that might be needed to treat COVID-19 patients.

Yet for Peeling, 62, of Lantana, Florida, the dental visit was anything but routine. He had his temperature taken upon arrival and was asked to rinse with a hydrogen peroxide solution to reduce germs before the dentist or hygienist looked into his mouth. The dentist and his assistants all wore masks.

Another change: He was the only patient in the office.

Florida is one of 40 states

Read More

Reopening In The COVID Era: How To Adapt To A New Normal

As many states begin to reopen — most without meeting the thresholds recommended by the White House — a new level of COVID-19 risk analysis begins for Americans.

Should I go to the beach? What about the hair salon? A sit-down restaurant meal? Visit Mom on Mother’s Day?

States are responding to the tremendous economic cost of the pandemic and people’s pent-up desire to be “normal” again. But public health experts remain cautious. In many areas, they note, COVID cases — and deaths — are still on the rise, and some fear new surges will follow the easing of restrictions.

“Reopening is not back to normal. It is trying to find ways to allow people to get back out to do things they want to do, and business to do business,” said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “We can’t

Read More

Pandemic-Stricken Cities Have Empty Hospitals, But Reopening Them Is Difficult

[UPDATED at 5:30 p.m. ET]

As city leaders across the country scramble to find space for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients, some are looking at a seemingly obvious choice: former hospital buildings, sitting empty, right downtown.

In Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, where hospitalizations from COVID-19 increase each day, shuttered hospitals that once served the city’s poor and uninsured sit at the center of a public health crisis that begs for exactly what they can offer: more space. But reopening closed hospitals, even in a public health emergency, is difficult.

Philadelphia, the largest city in America with no public hospital, is also the poorest. There, Hahnemann University Hospital shut its doors in September after its owner, Philadelphia Academic Health System, declared bankruptcy. While not public, the 496-bed safety-net hospital mainly treated patients on public insurance. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney began talks with the building’s owner, California-based investment banker

Read More