TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Gov. Doug Ducey announced an executive order Wednesday allowing hospitals, healthcare facilities and dental offices to resume elective surgeries starting May 1, after nearly a month-long hiatus.
Dr. Bryan Foulk, a Tucson dentist who was already performing emergency surgeries, is now preparing his office to get elective surgeries back on the schedule — which has a backlog of appointments and plenty of patients waiting.
"We can start calling them and getting them scheduled," Foulk said. "We are going to do more personal distancing, we are going to lengthen some appointment times so we don't have people in the office and we already limit the office visits to only the patient."
The governor’s executive order lists guidelines for facilities to resume elective surgeries. Facilities must have a 14 day supply of personal protective equipment practice thorough cleaning procedures and implement a COVID-19 testing plan for employees and patients.
Foulk said he’s taking steps to keep his office as sanitary as possible.
The counters are wiped down between each patient and everyone had their temperature taken. The office has masks, eye protection and face shields.
Although elective surgeries can start back up soon, Foulk said he expects many patients to shy away from making an appointment.
“They’re still fearful of COVID-19 so we are going to have some people that have treatment needed but don’t want to come in yet,” he said. “It will be a lot of phone calling — who wants to come in and who feels safe.”
The Arizona Dental Association and governor’s office are working together to release more guidelines and criteria specific to dentists performing elective surgeries.