Chancellor Judy C. Miner sent the following message via email to Foothill-De Anza district employees.
July 13, 2020
The district was notified yesterday that a dental patient at the Foothill College Dental Clinic reported testing positive for COVID-19. The patient was treated in the clinic on July 6 and reported the diagnosis to us during a follow-up phone call on July 12.
Following protocol, the clinic screened the patient 24 hours prior to the appointment, then again on the morning of the visit, and the patient reported no exposure or symptoms. We now know that the patient went to the emergency room on July 9 after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
The faculty member and student who treated the patient are self-isolating until July 20 and will not return to campus until they have been tested and confirmed negative for COVID-19. No other faculty or students have reported symptoms and, in keeping with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will closely monitor their health for 14 days.
Dental clinic faculty and staff were notified about the patient’s reported COVID-19 diagnosis yesterday and students were informed this morning. All expressed a desire to continue clinical instruction.
The students, faculty, and staff in the Dental Hygiene Program follow a strict routine to ensure that the clinic is as safe as possible. They are equipped with complete personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, and shoe and hair coverings. The program adheres to the protocols of the CDC, American Dental Association, and California Dental Association, including steps to take in response to potential COVID-19 exposure.
The dental clinic is deep-cleaned daily, including fogging with hypochlorous acid twice a day after each clinic session. All surfaces are covered with plastic, which is removed and replaced after each patient. Only eight of 18 stations are in use and each station is separated by plexiglass.
The clinic remains open as the students require clinical training for degree completion and to sit for their state examinations. Dental hygiene is one of the few programs being allowed to use campus facilities on a limited basis where hands-on experience is required for licensure of these essential workers.
I have the utmost confidence in the responsible behavior of the students, faculty, and staff in the Dental Hygiene Program. They were accustomed to rigorous protocols prior to the pandemic and have adapted readily to additional requirements. We will continue to support them as they pursue their studies meeting the highest standards of excellence and safety.