Rapid Expert Consultation on Critical Issues in Diagnostic Testing for the COVID-19 Pandemic. This newly released report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats reviews four key areas of diagnostic testing development within the framework of strategies aimed at reducing disease burden of SARS-CoV-2. The paper reviews RT-PCR, Point of Care Testing, Testing Strategies, and Next Generation Testing. Click here to view.
COVID-19 Webinar Series from OSAP. This new webinar series from OSAP features four recorded webinars on key infection control topics for practice in the dental setting during COVID-19. Webinar titles include Respiratory Protection Program, PPE Optimization, COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Assistants, and Airborne Precautions and Ventilation. Webinars will begin airing Friday, November 6 and will be recorded.
COVID-19 & Lab Testing Requirements Toolkit. The ADA now offers a step-by-step guide of the application process for federal certification to offer COVID-19 rapid response testing for your patients. The toolkit can be accessed here. The toolkit includes information about:
- The Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA)
- State laboratory testing regulations
- How to apply for a Federal Certificate of Waiver, and
- Test reporting requirements
Estimating COVID-19 Prevalence and Infection Control Practices Among US Dentists. A recent study from the Journal of the American Dental Association evaluated the prevalence of COVID-19 infections among dental providers in the US. The findings point to evidence that infection control measures applied in dental practices during the pandemic are sufficient in controlling infection rates in dental practices. To read the article, click here.
Dental Patient Care in the Era of COVID-19. Patients are returning to the dentist they know and trust during the COVID-19 Pandemic and may be unsure about the new infection control protocols. With this brochure from OSAP, understanding the new changes around the practice may be a little bit easier and families can rest assured that their safety is the main priority. Click here to view.
Oral Health and COVID-19: Increasing the Need for Prevention and Access. A commentary highlighting opportunities in oral health prevention during the COVID-19 era and its implications for public health. Learn more here.
WHO Considerations for the Provision of Essential Oral Health Services in the Context of COVID-19. A new document from the World Health Organization on specific infection control considerations for dentistry during the coronavirus outbreak.
View the document here.
CDC Webinar/Call on Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response. At this live webinar/call on Wednesday, 6/3 from 2:00pm-3:00pm (ET), a panel from the CDC Division of Oral Health, the Infection Control Team and Worker Safety Team reviewed the updated guidance for dental offices that includes non-emergency dental care guidelines. Participants engaged with the panel through a Q&A session following the discussion. Slides, a transcript, and a video recording of the call are available on the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) webpage, here.
CDC Information for Pediatric Healthcare Providers. This guidance provides pediatric healthcare providers with up-to-date information about children aged 1 month – 18 years with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and about caring for children during a pandemic. Click here to learn more.
New OSHA Guidance for Dentists and Staff
Issued May 1, new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) supplements the general interim guidance for dentistry workers and employers at increased risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, including information on aerosol-generating procedures and N-95 masks.
OSHA is now recommending that dental care workers wear gloves, gowns, eye protection (e.g., goggles, face shields), and NIOSH-certified, disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators or better when performing dental procedures that may or are known to generate aerosols. The site details a number of infection control guidelines, plus information on PPE flexibilities and prioritization in the Personal Protective Equipment Flexibilities section.
Advocacy for In-Office Testing. The AAPD joined the ADA and a strong coalition of dental organizations in urging authorized point-of-care testing for COVID-19 by dentists through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as targeted liability protections for the use of pandemic and epidemic products. The letter asks HHS to use its discretionary authority during public health emergencies to extend federal authorization for licensed dentists to conduct authorized point-of-care testing for COVID-19 given the very high risk of exposure in dental settings and the value of keeping uninfected dental patients away from hospital emergency rooms. View the letter here.
Anesthesiology Guidance. This recent report from the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists offers recommendations on infection control related to COVID-19, including such topics as screening patients and escorts prior to treatment, protection of dental health care personnel, PPE for aerosol-generating procedures, and environmental infection control.
AAPD Pediatric Dental Safety Resources. The online Safety Toolkit developed by the Safety Committee offers comprehensive, up-to-date resources available on the AAPD website here. The Safety Committee is currently working on AAPD recommendations concerning infection control, to be shared with the CDC.
ADA Interim Guidance on PPE. Some state and local governments are now considering reopening certain businesses considered “essential,” including dental practices, as they phase their communities back into normal operations. To aid dentists who may be reopening their practices when state mandates are lifted, the ADA has developed interim guidance on the PPE recommended to practice during this pandemic and minimize the risk of virus transmission. (two pdf files attached on interim mask guide and understanding masks) The ADA is communicating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other federal agencies, and relevant organizations to advocate that dentists, as essential healthcare workers, are prioritized for PPE. Learn more here.
National Advocacy. An ADA letter on April 13, 2020, asked Congress to help ensure there is appropriate personal protective equipment available to all health care providers — including dentists — who continue to provide emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter, which can be accessed here, reminded lawmakers that dentists continue to treat emergency patients in an effort to keep people out of emergency rooms and to lessen the burden on the country’s medical system, yet have difficulty in obtaining appropriate personal protective equipment, including N95 masks. Learn more here.
CDC Strategies for Optimizing PPE. Including sections on eye protection, isolation gowns, facemasks and N95 respirators, this guide offers information on preventing transmission of infectious materials in healthcare settings when capacity for PPE protection is uncertain or declining in availability.
This is a recent article on emerging and future challenges of COVID-19 from the Journal of Dental Research.
This detailed infection control checklist includes instrument sterilization, clinical contact, dental unit waterlines, and more. HPTC Compliance Training Partners Detailed Infection Control Checklist
The CDC’s Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Settings includes toolkits, a mobile app, and a training module as companion pieces to the guidelines.
Frequently asked questions from the CDC on cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces in the dental setting that includes recommendations on cleaning and disinfecting different types of surfaces in your practice can be found here.
This Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publication (page 15) discusses aerosol-generating procedures and N-95 masks to help prevent exposures.
According to the ADA on N-95 respirators, the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be worn will depend upon the procedures being performed. Click here for more information.
Joint Commission Statement on Face Masks From Home. The Joint Commission supports allowing staff to bring their own standard face masks or respirators to wear at work when their healthcare organizations cannot routinely provide access to protective equipment that is commensurate with the risk to which they are exposed. The report can be accessed here.
CDC Checklist for Healthcare Facilities: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators during COVID-19 Response. This checklist may help dentists make decisions on their use of N95 respirators when the supply is low during public emergency.
NIOSH Certified Equipment List: Use this resource to determine if personal protective equipment is NIOSH tested and certified for specific use, particularly if you are considering ordering supplies from an alternative supplier.
This spreadsheet from the CDC will help clinicians track their PPE supplies and determine how quickly they are going through them for planning purposes.
PPE Alternative Suppliers from ECRI offers an extensive list of suppliers to consider when your typical supplier is low on PPE products. View the list here.
Disinfectant Concentrations and Contact Times for EPA’s List of Products Effective Against COVID-19 from ECRI. This document is a complementary guide to the EPA’s List of Products that includes a table with information on concentrations and contact times needed for effective use.
Information on N 95 Respirators and Surgical Masks from the FDA can be found here.
The Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) COVID-19 Toolkit is a comprehensive compilation of resources that includes guidance and best practices for providers as well as patient resources.
The Environmental Protection Agency provides guidance on the use of disinfectants that can be used in response to the coronavirus outbreak.