COVID-19 concerns force postponement of Piedmont Smiles free dental event

Due to the current spread of COVID-19 in Virginia, the Fauquier Free Clinic is saddened to announce the postponement of Piedmont Smiles, a regional free community dental day, to 2022, the organization said in a news release Wednesday.

Originally scheduled for Oct. 2, the event is now tentatively planned for fall 2022, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission in the region.

“While we are disappointed that we had to make this change, it ultimately is the right call for the safety of everyone involved,” said Rob Marino, Director of the Fauquier Free Clinic. “A large-scale gathering carries a lot of risk. Our leadership team and our partners at the dental schools felt that the time was not yet right for this. The community needs more time to get everyone vaccinated against COVID so that we can gather safely and protect our patients and volunteers. When we do this, we want it to be a big event that makes a significant and positive impact.”

Although the community-wide event is postponed, the Fauquier Free Clinic, which also serves Rappahannock County residents, is working to provide dental treatment to patients that had pre-registered for the event by Aug. 31.

“We are doing all that we can to help those patients in need who have already registered for the event and will be reaching out to them directly to schedule appointments as they are available. Unfortunately, our capacity will be greatly reduced, but we look forward to helping more people in 2022.” Marino said.

Lynn Lauritzen of the PATH Volunteer Hub expressed thanks to more than that 100 people who had volunteered to help at the event.

“Local lay people, nurses, doctors, and dental professionals clearly see the value in providing dental care to everyone who needs it,” Lauritzen said. “We had a huge response when we asked for help and we’re very thankful for their willingness to help the community. We hope we can continue their involvement again next year.”

Patients who had not pre-registered can contact the Fauquier Free Clinic at 540-347-0394, Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic in Orange at 540-661-0008, or email PATH Community Link at communitylink@pathforyou.org to explore options for care.

An exact date for the event is yet to be determined, and will be announced in the future. When more information about the re-scheduled event is available, it will be shared on www.piedmontsmiles.org.

Staff/Contributed
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