Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19. This infection control guidance from the American Dental Association (ADA) corresponds to the key reference, Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit, adding to it a number of new considerations from hazard assessment and staff protection to screening protocols following the recent release of new and revised infection control recommendations and requirements, such as OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare Settings and Guidance for Dental Settings: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. This short checklist of considerations makes practice during the pandemic a little bit easier and it will surely be another indispensable part of your COVID-19 toolkit. Click here to read Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19. (July 14, 2021)

OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Healthcare Settings. On June 10, 2021 OSHA announced a new standard to protect frontline healthcare workers from COVID-19. The cautious rules were created for those workers with the highest risk of contracting the virus – those treating and caring for people with suspected or confirmed coronavirus. According to the American Dental Association, while dental practices in ambulatory settings are exempt from the ETS, there are several situations that it can be applied to: hospital-based oral surgery practices and dentists caring for COVID-19 patients. To remain exempt, dental practices must continue to screen patients before entry to the facility and limit access to the facility to people who do not have confirmed coronavirus nor are suspected to have coronavirus. 

The key points from the American Dental Association’s (ADA) factsheet on the new ETS, OSHA COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard include the following:

  • Dentistry is exempt from the ETS in most cases
  • Pre-screening prior to appointments is still required 
  • Patients, visitors and staff must be screened prior to entry and those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter
  • A written COVID-19 plan should be completed by all dental practices according to OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs
  • This standard may be superseded by another at the state or local level and may include dental offices

Click here to view COVID-19 Healthcare ETS - Frequently Asked Questions. To refer to the standard, click here. (June 21, 2021)

CDC DentalChecklist. The CDC DentalChecklist offers users a smart phone-based template to create personalized checklists to evaluate their infection control practices. The app helpfully prompts dental personnel on a range of safe practices. Users can evaluate policies and practices and take note of direct observations to ensure they are meeting safe care standards.  

With the CDC DentalCheck you can: 

  • Create a new checklist
  • Review edit or export results from all checklists
  • Access guidelines and other resources

Click here to learn more about the DentalChecklist. (March 1, 2021)

CDC Clinician On-Call Center. This 24-hour hotline has clinicians standing by to answer your COVID-19 questions in real-time. Call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) to get information on clinical diagnosis, testing, and management, worker safety, infection prevention and control, home isolation and return-to-work, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), pregnancy and breastfeeding, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and epidemiology. To learn more, click here 

American Dental Association COVID-19 Webinars. With presentations on how to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of dental dams, provider relief funds and labor law updates, vaccine updates and more, the ADA COVID-19 Digital Events have you covered with the timely coverage of critical topics impacting dental practice during the pandemic. The ADA's wide array of webinars can be accessed here. (Latest Webinar January 14, 2021)

Journal of Dental Infection Control and Safety: Special Issue Featuring OSAP 2020 Annual Conference Proceedings and Abstracts. If you couldn't attend this year's OSAP Annual Virtual Conference, you don't have to sweat it. In an effort to showcase timely practical information and research as the COVID-19 pandemic pressed on, OSAP published select sections of "2020: A Clear Vision for Dental Safety” in the Journal of Dental Infection Control and Safety.  This special publication includes the conference overview, the keynote presentation, "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic" and an assortment of research abstracts. To view the proceedings, click here. (December 23, 2020)

COVID-19 Community Profile Report. This statistical report out of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers users a detailed look into COVID-19 indicators on the city, county, state and national levels. Those interested in using the frequently-updated report can view contextual factors influencing rates of COVID-19 and observe trends in COVID-19 outcomes. The report can be accessed here. (December 21, 2020)

Guidance for Dental Settings. This central infection control resource for dentists practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been updated to reflect the current understanding of the risks involved with COVID-19 transmission and aerosol-generating procedures. The CDC removed the recommendation for all patients to avoid aerosol-generating procedures following the observation that, to date, dentistry has demonstrated a high level of safety for patients and clinicians. The guidance still advises that dentists avoid aerosol-generating procedures for patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Click here to visit Guidance for Dental Settings: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. (Updated July 14, 2021)

Estimating COVID-19 Prevalence and Infection Control Practices Among US Dentists. Offering a compelling look at SARS-CoV-2 prevalence among dentists, this article from the Journal of the American Dental Association highlights the key mitigation strategies keeping dental practices safe during the pandemic. Click here to read. (October 15, 2020)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Health Professionals. This well-organized government website contains practical consumer information for health professionals operating facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a go-to resource for learning about the Emergency Use Authorization process, diagnostic and antibody testing authorization, vaccine development, therapeutic trials, PPE development, and fraudulent product reporting. To visit the site, click here. (October 9, 2020)

OSAP/DQP Best Practices for Infection Control in Dental Clinics During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The dental infection control leader published this well-timed resource for dentists who were re-opening their practices after states mandated the shut down of offices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is a practical guide offering best practices, a practice checklist, companion resources and tools. To visit the guide, click here. (Revised September 8, 2020)

Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers. A guidance resource for clinicians on caring for children during the COVID-19 pandemic, this webpage includes up-to-date information for clinicians that describes infections in children, testing recommendations, immunization and well-child care guidance and more. Click here to visit Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers.

Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19), CDC (Updated August 25, 2020). This go-to guide for healthcare professionals (HCP) working in clinical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic provides recommendations on routine care as well as care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Highlights include:

  • Infection Control Guidance
  • Potential Exposure at Work
  • Return-to-Work Criteria
  • Post-Vaccine Considerations for Healthcare Workers

Click here to read more.

 

More Resources:

Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit from the American Dental Association (ADA). Click here to view. (Updated July 23, 2020)

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. Click here to view. (Updated July 15, 2020)

Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Click here to view. (Updated June 30, 2020)

Contact Tracing by Public Health Agencies and HIPAA Disclosures, ADA. Click here to view. (May 27, 2020)

Hazard Assessment Tool, ADA. Click here to view. (May 26, 2020)

Recommendations for the Re-Opening of Dental Services: A Rapid Review of International Sources, Cochrane. Click here to view. (Updated May 16, 2020)

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), CDC. Click here to view. (May 6, 2020)

Guidance for Dentistry Workers and Employees, OSHA. Click here to view. (May 4, 2020)

Caries Management Strategies for Primary Molars. Click here to view. (April 28, 2020)

Interim Guidance For Dentist Anesthesiologists Practicing In The Office-Based Setting During The COVID-19 Pandemic, SDA. Click here to view. (Updated April 14, 2020)

Interim Guidance and Minimizing Risk Comprehensive Resource, ADA. Click here to view. (April 1, 2020)

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, OSHA. Click here to view. (March 20, 2020)