Dentist offices remain ‘extremely safe’ during coronavirus pandemic

Cesareo Contreras
 
| MetroWest Daily News

ASHLAND –  More than nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, many local businesses are still struggling to get by. But for Dr. Sandra Cove, who owns a dental office at 37 Main St., business has been great.  

“People are knocking the door down,” she said. 

The anxiety of the pandemic is weighing down on many. And that is often reflected on oral health, Cove said.

It’s not uncommon for Cove to see people around the holidays come in with problems, given the stress during this time of year. She is seeing patients with major dental issues at a rate she has never seen in her career. 

From cavities and inflamed gums to chipped and infected teeth, the issues are various.  

“We have this phenomenon in dentistry. Whenever people are under a lot of stress, a lot crazy things happen – a lot of root canals and broken teeth,” she said. “A lot of this stuff happens around Christmas time and Thanksgiving and it only lasts for a week or two, but this going on for six months, where every day, I must have two or three broken teeth due to stress or people gums are completely on fire because they are overreacting to the bacteria because their defenses are down.” 

Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society, said she isn’t surprised by number of patients Cove has seen with new and serious dental problems.  

“Sandra, I know, is very busy, and many practices are busy,” she said. “Some practices never slowed down. They saw a lot of emergency care. … The bottom line is that we are seeing a breakdown because people were very concerned about going to the dentist. ” 

While some dental offices are doing well, others have been hit hard.  

Hanlon is the dean of operations at Tufts University and manages all of the school’s clinical operations. Unlike Cove, she said she has seen a decline in the number of people visiting the clinic. Before the pandemic, the college would see around 600 people a day. Now they are seeing half of that. 

In June, the association conducted a survey to better understand how dental offices in the state were faring during the pandemic. The survey was taken by more than 400 dental practice owners. 

More than half of responders said they expect it to take between seven months to over a year to get the number of patients they had before the pandemic hit. 

Nearly 90% of dental practices are spending between $8 – $29 or greater per patient on personal protective equipment, according to survey. 

Moreover, more than half or respondents said the pandemic has cost their practice $225,000 in office upgrades and loss in patients. 

Cove said she thinks a big reason why people are coming to her office is because they feel reassured that the appropriate measures are in place to keep them safe from the coronavirus. 

After the start of pandemic in March, Cove

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China tests millions after coronavirus flare-ups in 3 cities

Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week

As temperatures drop, large-scale measures are being enacted in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, despite the low number of new cases compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.

Many experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater during the cold weather. Recent flare-ups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.

On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the last 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 total cases and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The two latest cases confirmed in Shanghai were close contacts of another airport worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in November. On Sunday night, the city’s Pudong International airport decided to test its workers, collecting 17,719 samples through the early hours of Monday morning. Plans call for testing others in surrounding communities if further cases are detected.

Videos on social media purportedly from workers showed what appeared to be chaotic scenes at the airport as they were given last-minute orders to get tested. In the videos, people are seen standing in large groups pushing back and forth against officials in hazmat suits.

Shanghai has been more selective with mass testing, targeting people associated with a particular place, such as the airport or the hospital where someone who has tested positive had worked, rather than an entire district.

China has resorted to its heavy, top-down approach each time new cases of local transmission are found — shutting down schools and hospitals, locking down residential communities and entire neighborhoods, and testing millions.

Tianjin authorities shut down a kindergarten and moved all the teachers, family and students to a centralized quarantine space. They also sealed the residential compound where the five cases were found.

A worker for UPS at Pudong airport said one of those who tested positive earlier in the month

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Bulgaria Plans Lockdown to Contain Coronavirus Infection Surge | World News

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria plans to close schools, restaurants and shops and ban all sports events, private celebrations and excursions as it struggles to contain a coronavirus case surge.

The Balkan country’s health minister Kostadin Angelov said on Monday that the measures, to be debated by the centre-right government on Wednesday, were aimed at preventing a struggling health system from being overwhelmed.

New coronavirus cases have doubled in the past week to 23,569, Bulgarian health ministry data showed, bringing the total number to 121,820 in the country of 7 million.

Some 6,350 people are in hospitals, 1,000 more than a week ago, and more than 400 are in intensive care.

Hospitals are strained, with many short-staffed due to rising infections among medics, while ambulances have been searching for coronavirus beds in major cities.

Bulgaria’s COVID-19 fatalities per 100,000 people are the third highest in the European Union in the past 14 days, data showed. In total, 2,880 people have died from COVID-19.

“No matter how prepared, no (health) system can withstand such a pressure,” Angelov told reporters.

“We cannot afford to lose the lives of young people, of old people, of doctors and of teachers,” he added.

Under the plan, which if approved will be enforced from Nov. 27, schools and universities will switch to online studies, while kindergartens and nurseries will be closed.

Sports and cultural events will be banned, including seminars, conferences and private celebrations. All restaurants, bars and cafes will be shut, as well as all shops except for pharmacies, food stores and banks.

Tourist trips both at home and abroad will also be banned.

Earlier, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said the measures should be balanced to keep the small and open economy going and Angelov said he hoped the measures could allow some easing for the Christmas holidays.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Philadelphia Fitness Coalition protesting restrictions on city gyms amid coronavirus pandemic

More than two dozen gyms in Philadelphia are joining forces, demanding that the city allows them to reopen.

Philly Fitness Coalition is fighing the restrictions for gyms in the city

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They have created the Philadelphia Fitness Coalition and have gathered more than 1,500 signatures in opposition to the new restrictions.

As the number of covid-19 cases rises, the city required gyms to shut down indoor activities at the end of last week.

But gym owners say it is unfair because of the safety precautions they have put in place.

They plan to protest outside of City Hall on Tuesday.

Last week, the city’s top health official, Dr. Thomas Farley, defended the city’s decision to tighten restrictions, saying now is the riskiest time for the transmission of the virus.

“What was now safe is now dangerous with the change in the weather. Many businesses feel they put safety measures in place, sure they have, and I’m sure there’s no spread there and that’s true in many places. Remember, there are more people than ever with the virus,” said Farley.

City officials said dramatic action is needed to respond to an exponential growth in cases and hospitalizations.

On Thursday, health officials announced 765 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 57,237.

The number of residents who have died from the virus in Philadelphia is 1,945.

How is 2nd wave of COVID-19 impacting local hospitals?

As the second wave of COVID-19 hits the Philadelphia region, doctors and medical professionals discuss how the virus is impacting hospitals.

Grey Lodge Pub in Mayfair closing

The new round of COVID-19 regulations was the final straw for one Philadelphia restaurant. The Grey Lodge Pub in Mayfair is closing its doors for good after 70 years in business. The Lucky Cat Brewing Company, which is a standalone business inside the pub, will remain open.

Philadelphia museums knocked back down by new COVID-19 restrictions

The new restrictions put in place to tackle the surge of COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia are hitting museums in the area hard. After going through a five-month shutdown during the first wave, they are being shut down again, which in some cases, will cause hard economic pain and uncertainty for employees.

National Constitution Center temporarily closes to the public through January 1, 2021

In accordance with health guidelines from the City of Philadelphia in response to COVID-19, the National Constitution Center is temporarily closed to the public through January 1, 2021. The Center offers a range of free online programs and resources for learners of all ages. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Houses of worship in Philly vow to persevere amid new COVID restrictions

The new COVID-19 restrictions in Philadelphia will have a major impact on houses of worship, which for the time being can operate at only 5% capacity. While the Archdiocese of Philadelphia revises its guidance, some churches and synagogues in the city have a variety of innovative plans

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Philadelphia COVID-19 today: Philadelphia Fitness Coalition protesting gym closures in city amid coronavirus pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — More than two dozen gyms in Philadelphia are joining forces, demanding that the city allows them to reopen.

They have created the Philadelphia Fitness Coalition and have gathered more than 1,500 signatures in opposition to the new restrictions.

As the number of covid-19 cases rises, the city required gyms to shut down indoor activities at the end of last week.

But gym owners say it is unfair because of the safety precautions they have put in place.

They plan to protest outside of City Hall on Tuesday.

Last week, the city’s top health official, Dr. Thomas Farley, defended the city’s decision to tighten restrictions, saying now is the riskiest time for the transmission of the virus.

“What was now safe is now dangerous with the change in the weather. Many businesses feel they put safety measures in place, sure they have, and I’m sure there’s no spread there and that’s true in many places. Remember, there are more people than ever with the virus,” said Farley.

City officials said dramatic action is needed to respond to an exponential growth in cases and hospitalizations.

On Thursday, health officials announced 765 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 57,237.

The number of residents who have died from the virus in Philadelphia is 1,945.

How is 2nd wave of COVID-19 impacting local hospitals?

As the second wave of COVID-19 hits the Philadelphia region, doctors and medical professionals discuss how the virus is impacting hospitals.

Grey Lodge Pub in Mayfair closing

The new round of COVID-19 regulations was the final straw for one Philadelphia restaurant. The Grey Lodge Pub in Mayfair is closing its doors for good after 70 years in business. The Lucky Cat Brewing Company, which is a standalone business inside the pub, will remain open.

Philadelphia museums knocked back down by new COVID-19 restrictions


The new restrictions put in place to tackle the surge of COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia are hitting museums in the area hard. After going through a five-month shutdown during the first wave, they are being shut down again, which in some cases, will cause hard economic pain and uncertainty for employees.

National Constitution Center temporarily closes to the public through January 1, 2021

In accordance with health guidelines from the City of Philadelphia in response to COVID-19, the National Constitution Center is temporarily closed to the public through January 1, 2021. The Center offers a range of free online programs and resources for learners of all ages. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Houses of worship in Philly vow to persevere amid new COVID restrictions


The new COVID-19 restrictions in Philadelphia will have a major impact on houses of worship, which for the time being can operate at only 5% capacity. While the Archdiocese of Philadelphia revises its guidance, some churches and synagogues in the city have a variety of innovative plans to carry on through the holidays.

Philadelphia-area stores stock up as new COVID restrictions set

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China tests millions after coronavirus flareups in 3 cities

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are testing millions of people, imposing lockdowns and shutting down schools after multiple locally transmitted coronavirus cases were discovered in three cities across the country last week.

As temperatures drop, widescale measures are being enacted in Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli, even though the number of new cases remains low compared to the United States and other countries that are seeing new waves of infections.

Experts and government officials have warned that the chance of the virus spreading will be greater in cold weather. Recent flareups have shown that there is still a risk of the virus returning, despite being largely controlled within China.


On Monday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Shanghai over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to seven since Friday. China has recorded 86,442 cases overall and 4,634 deaths since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The two latest cases confirmed in Shanghai were close contacts of another airport worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in November. On Sunday night, the city’s Pudong International airport decided to test its workers, collecting 17,719 samples through the early hours of Monday morning. Plans call for testing others in surrounding communities if further cases are detected.

Videos on social media purportedly from workers showed what appeared to be chaotic scenes at the airport as they were given last-minute orders to get tested. In the videos, people are seen standing in large groups pushing back and forth against officials in hazmat suits.

Shanghai has been more selective with mass testing, targeting people associated with a particular place, such as the airport or the hospital where someone who has tested positive had worked, rather than an entire district.

In Tianjin, health workers have collected more than 2.2 million samples for testing from residents in the Binhai new district, after five locally transmitted cases were discovered there last week.

In Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000 people, local health authorities are testing all residents after two cases were reported on Saturday. They also shut down all schools and public venues and banned public gatherings such as banquets.

China has resorted to its heavy, top-down approach each time new cases of local transmission are found — shutting down schools and hospitals, locking down residential communities and entire neighborhoods, and testing millions.

Tianjin authorities shut down a kindergarten and moved all the teachers, family and students to a centralized quarantine space. They also sealed the residential compound where the five cases were found.

China’s approach to controlling the pandemic has been criticized for being draconian. It locked down the city of Wuhan, where cases were first reported, for more than two months to contain the virus, with the local government shutting down all traffic and confining residents to their homes. Domestically, however, China has called its strategy “clear to zero” and has boasted of its success.

“In the entire world, only China has

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Coronavirus updates: CDC says people who test positive for covid-19 can still vote in person

Here are the latest developments:

As the presidential election collides with a global pandemic, the CDC says that people who are sick with the coronavirus can still vote in person on Tuesday.

In newly-updated guidance published Sunday, the agency says that voters who have tested positive or may have been exposed to the coronavirus should follow the standard advice to wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from others and sanitize their hands before and after voting. “You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location,” the CDC’s website states.

For tens of thousands of Americans, that may be the only option: People who received their test results in the past few days missed the cutoff to request an absentee ballot in most states, and getting an exemption typically requires surmounting arduous logistical hurdles, as The Post previously reported. But the prospect of casting a ballot alongside someone who’s sick is unlikely to defuse the tension surrounding mask-wearing at polling places — something that remains optional in multiple states.

While turnout numbers and exit polls consume much of the national attention, the steady rise of new infections across the country shows no sign of abating. The United States reported more than 86,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing the total count to nearly 9.3 million, according to data tracked by The Post. Twelve states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming — recorded record numbers of hospitalizations.

Rural areas are feeling the strain. In Utah, overwhelmed hospitals are repurposing pediatric beds for adult patients, and plan to soon start bringing in doctors who don’t typically work in hospitals, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“We’re asking people to do things that they trained for, maybe when they were a resident, but they haven’t done in three years,” Russell Vinik, chief medical operations officer at University of Utah Health, told the paper on Monday.

Jacqueline Dupree contributed to this report.

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Test The Whole Country For Coronavirus : NPR

A man is tested for the coronavirus on Sunday in Košice, Slovakia, as part of a nationwide effort to test nearly everyone over age 10 for the virus.

Zuzana Gogova/Getty Images


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A man is tested for the coronavirus on Sunday in Košice, Slovakia, as part of a nationwide effort to test nearly everyone over age 10 for the virus.

Zuzana Gogova/Getty Images

Slovakia undertook a massive effort over the weekend: to test nearly all adults in the country for the coronavirus.

Amid a steep spike in cases, more than 3.6 million Slovaks were tested for the virus, according to Prime Minister Igor Matovic – that’s about two-thirds of the population.

Of those tested, 38,359 tested positive for the virus – 1.06%.

Antigen tests were used, rather than PCR tests. Antigen tests give results within minutes, but are less reliable than PCR testing. The tests were free, and conducted at some 5,000 testing sites around the country, with assistance from Slovakia’s military.

“We have made a great leap forward,” the prime minister, Igor Matovič, told reporters on Monday.

“But we should not think that because of this 1%, now all is fine. It is not,” he added, according to Agence France-Presse. “In reality, up to 2% of our inhabitants might be infected. It is not at all a good situation.”

Two regions of the country with the highest case numbers were tested the previous weekend — a pilot in which 91% of those eligible were tested. In that round of testing, 3.97% were found positive.

More tests are planned for next weekend, but districts with a positive incidence of less than 0.7 percent will be exempt.

Children under 10 are exempt from the tests. Those over 65 who spend much of their time at home, as well as other vulnerable groups, are also exempt.

For all others, the test is optional – but a strict 10-day quarantine is required for those who choose to not get tested, The Lancet reports. Anyone who tests positive must go into strict isolation at home or a state quarantine facility for 10 days. Police officers are doing spot checks during the three-week testing period, and those who have taken the test are given a certificate they can show to police. Those who are found breaking the quarantine or isolation rules can be fined 1650 euros (about $1,920).

One goal of the program is to keep the nation’s hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Another is to avoid a severe lockdown. Schools have already been ordered to close for a month, amid closings of public venues and restrictions on indoor dining at restaurants.

Matovič said that the government’s scientific advisory team had recommended a three-week lockdown for all, rather than the testing program, but he said a lockdown would cause too much economic pain, according to The Lancet.

Some have been critical of the government’s plan.

Alexandra Brazinova, an epidemiologist at the Medical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava, worried

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Brampton’s coronavirus positivity rate more than double national average; B.C. cases soar over the weekend

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

‘Concerning’ number of cases over the weekend in B.C.

Dr. Réka Gustafson, British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, said the province is dealing with a “concerning” number of COVID-19 cases, after 1,120 new cases were reported over a three-day period.

She said the most common places of transmission are private “uncontrolled” gatherings in a private residence, with too many many and no safety protocols in place.

Health minister Adrian Dix recognized that it can be incredibly frustrating for British Columbians who are following the public health rules to see individuals who aren’t doing the same, specifically after reports of large crowds of people on Halloween.

“We’re facing COVID-19 for a long time to come, for months and months and months and months and month and months and months to come,” Dix said. “We need to follow public health guidance and public health advice.”

The health minister said it’s even more important to follow the rules in the winter months, compared to summer, and suggested that upcoming holiday gatherings will have to be virtual this year.

Dr. Gustafson also spoke about the federal COVID Alert app and why B.C. hasn’t adopted it yet. She said it was carefully reviewed with contact tracers in the province and the information that the app provides wouldn’t have any “additional benefit.”

“It isn’t able to notify and tell them…how intense that contact was,…when it occurred and what they need to do about it,” she said. “In order to act in a meaningful way…you need to have some details about it.”

‘You knew the allocations that you had so don’t overbook people’

The Ontario government announced it is increasing the hours of direct care for long-term care residents to an average of four hours per day.

“I made a promise to long-term care residents, their families and their caregivers that we would deliver better care for our seniors,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “Today, we are delivering on that promise and acting on the early recommendations of Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.”

“By increasing the hours of daily direct care for residents, we will improve their quality of life and ensure they are more comfortable and safe.”

At a press conference on Monday, Ford called out Rexall pharmacies for overbooking influenza vaccine appointments after it was announced the chain is pausing the flu shot program due to supply issues.

“You knew the allocations that you had so don’t overbook people,” the premier said. “If you know you have X amount of flu shots, book X amount of flu shots.”

The premier also defended the decision to move Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa into modified Stage 2 restrictions.

Ford said he would rather err on the side of caution than let everything go “hog wild” and open up.

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CT Sees 2,600+ Coronavirus Cases Over Weekend

CONNECTICUT — Connecticut reported another 2,651 positive coronavirus tests over the weekend along with a 3.4 percent positive test rate.

“There’s no question about it, the trend line is continuing to trend up,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during a Monday news conference.

The trend of more cases, a higher positive test rate and increased hospitalizations caused Lamont to roll back some guidelines to phase 2 levels in a new phase dubbed “2.1.”

Coronavirus hospitalizations increased by 11 patients up to a net of 340. Hospitalizations are now at early June levels.

Another 11 coronavirus-related deaths were reported over the weekend for a total of 4,627 during the pandemic to date.

Click on county names below to see how cases have grown over the past two months in your county:

The towns with the most new cases since Friday are:

  1. Bridgeport: 237

  2. Waterbury: 169

  3. Hartford: 153

  4. Norwalk: 139

  5. Danbury: 138

  6. Stamford: 111

  7. Meriden: 79

  8. New Haven: 71

  9. New Britain: 61

  10. East Hartford: 55

The towns with the most new cases since Oct. 25:

  1. Bridgeport: 444

  2. Norwalk: 374

  3. Danbury: 365

  4. Waterbury: 342

  5. Stamford: 301

  6. Hartford: 294

  7. New Haven: 165

  8. New Britain: 145

  9. Meriden: 133

  10. East Hartford: 126

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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