Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Important Information

Dear Patients, Families and Friends of Vernon Family Dentists,


As members of your local community, we care deeply about the health and the well-being of our patients, families and staff members. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the ever-changing pandemic present a unique set of challenges for dental care providers like Vernon Family Dentists that must be addressed. As such, we wanted to let you know that will be taking additional safety precautions to help reduce risk of transmission and ensure that our patients, families and employees remain as safe as possible while visiting our office. We will not be closing our office unless ordered to do so by the Federal, State or Local Government. The changes we will be implementing are based upon current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and have been strategically developed as part of an extensive and ongoing discussion between Dr. Shlafstein and Dr. Russo on how to still perform high-quality dentistry while reducing pathways of transmission. We recognize that some of these health precautions may cause temporary inconvenience in the form of possible delays in the completion of portions of your treatment, but please be assured that your health and the health of all members of our community is our number one priority, and we have carefully thought about these precautions that we will be taking. 

Changes that will be implemented in our office will be put into place immediately and will continue until May 1st, 2020 unless modifications to this date are deemed necessary. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office at 860-875-5664 and we will be happy to discuss further. Please note that no exceptions to these special precautions will be made for any reason, so please plan accordingly. If you would like to delay your next appointment for any reason, we completely understand and ask that you please call our office next week during regularly scheduled business hours (8am-5pm) so that we can assist you in rescheduling.  We also ask that if you fall into a high-risk group according to the CDC and WHO that you consider rescheduling your appointment into May.  


Here are the very important changes to your Vernon Family Dentists experience that you will notice over the next 7 weeks.

  1. We will essentially be restricting our reception area to limit social interactions and the amount of people present in the office at any one time.  Only patients and (if necessary in the case of younger patients) one accompanying adult should enter the office. Siblings, grandparents, friends, etc. should remain outside in their vehicles.
  2. Patients will be asked to present for their appointments at their regularly scheduled time, not early. We will be asking patients to come into the office no more than 5 minutes before their appointment to minimize any waiting in our reception area that would occur.
  3. Please continue to check in with the front desk upon your arrival, where you will be asked if you or a family member has been sick, had a cough or traveled recently to an infected area.  If you are ill with flu-like symptoms, you should reschedule your appointment. 
  4. If you or someone you are in close contact with have recently traveled to one of the countries with large outbreaks of COVID-19 (China, Italy, Iran, South Korea) or if you have been exposed to someone else who was diagnosed with COVID-19 or who was quarantined as a precaution, wait 14 days until you see your dentist to make sure you have not caught the coronavirus. 


If you are healthy, there’s no need to cancel your regularly scheduled dental appointment.

  1. We have removed all magazines, toys, games, books, and pens from our waiting area during this time. 
  2. All waiting room surfaces (counter tops, door knobs, chairs, and tables) will also be disinfected throughout the day.
  3. At great pain to Dr. Shlafstein and Dr. Russo, we will no longer be greeting you by shaking hands while in the office, we will only be contacting patients with gloves and masks worn. 


Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.  As doctors, we are just as concerned about our patients’ well-being as our own family members.  We know that in the long term, this will make us stronger and safer, but in the mean time we have to implement major safety protocols for everyone’s’ health and safety. 


Sincerely, Dr. Michael Shlafstein and Dr. Gregory Russo