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Dentists, doctors implement new safety procedures after reopening following coronavirus closures

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis is allowing medical practices to start seeing patients for elected procedures.

Local dentist and doctor offices are now seeing patients in person, but they have to take extra steps to stay within CDC guidelines.

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WPTV spoke Tuesday with local doctors about the changes they have made.

Dr. Mitchell Josephs is back at his dentist office in Palm Beach and seeing patients for elective procedures.

He said they already wear the required protection gear, but they are making changes in the office to help avoid potential issues.

“Anything that is not a cleanable surface, that can easily be disinfected, it is removed from the waiting room,” said Josephs.

The ADA is also asking to fill out a form for patients, and Josephs said they are taking their temperature.

“In this office, we are doing it twice -- when they enter the building and then again before we start working on the patients,” said Josephs.

WEB EXTRA: Palm Beach County offers advice for patients after elective surgeries resume in Florida

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Doctors at Tenet hospitals in west Boca Raton and Delray Beach said patients coming in for surgery will be monitored for coronavirus symptoms before their surgery.

“Everyone right now is going to get a COVID-19 swab test about three days before their elected procedure,” said Dr. Jonathan Hersch, an orthopedic surgeon at West Boca Medical.

They also say people should not be scared to go see a doctor for elective procedures.

"A lot of these patients, we can fix on an outpatient basis. They come in, and a few hours later, they are sent home," said Dr. Joseph Ricotta, a vascular surgeon at Delray Medical Center. "When they wait too long, it can be more difficult to fix, and now they’re in the hospital for an extended period of time."

“If you are ill and not doing well, the safest place for you is the hospital. It is not your home,” said Dr. Brij Maini, a cardiologist at Delray Medical Center.

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