Local medical offices feeling the effects of coronavirus outbreak

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the coronavirus continues its spread throughout the state, a new wave of closures is affecting one industry in particular: the dental industry.

For the first time in his 10-year practice, Dr. Jeff Evans is suspending all routine dental work at his four California KiDDS Pediatric Dentistry locations due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. The California Dental Association strongly recommends limiting treatments to emergencies only for the next two weeks.

"We're triaging patients over the phone first, and if they need to be seen in the office, we'll have them come in, see them and treat their emergency. Things that can't be put off for a month or more," Dr. Evans said.

Between those emergency procedures, equipment and surfaces will undergo a thorough sanitizing.

"We wipe down all surfaces, change all the barrier tape and, of course, we change instruments," Dr. Evans said.

The change is impacting his staff of 55 and 37,000 patients.

Another small business making changes in light of the coronavirus is Robert Pauline Physical Therapy in northeast Fresno. Pauline's patients, many of whom are 65 and older, undergo a screening process.

"Since this is a respiratory illness, asking questions about any recent respiratory illnesses and we're osculating and listening to breath sounds and making sure the lungs are clear," Dr. Pauline said.

Despite the threat of the coronavirus, Kathy Bird is a recent patient of Dr. Pauline's and says she isn't worried about the spread of disease during her therapy sessions.

"I see them wiping everything down, and I'm wiping my hands off," she said.

For older patients who are self-isolating, Dr. Pauline recommends the following:

"Even though they're isolated, doesn't mean they can't be outside and walking, using good health practices," he said.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to abc30.com/coronavirus/.
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