In Clinical Leadership & Infection Control Mackenzie Garrity 

Dentists sign petition to work in hospitals during COVID-19 outbreak

Thousands of dentists and hygienists in Tennessee have signed a petition asking to assist hospitals in screening patients for the coronavirus, according to local news station WKRN.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order March 23 that prevents dental practices from performing surgeries and treatments that aren’t emergencies through April 13. This has left many dental professionals stuck at home.

As of March 23, more than 9,000 people have signed the petition on titled “Consider using licensed dental professionals to support hospital physicians and nurses!”

“In this dire time, when our hospital workers are possibly overwhelmed, why not consider deploying licensed dental professionals to our hospital to help with screenings and basic tasks within their skill set and reserving the skills of our doctors and nurses for more important and specialized care,” the petition reads.

In the meantime, dentists are asking patients to contact them for any dental emergencies rather than go to the emergency room.

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