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Note: CDA continues to monitor pending federal legislation to address family and sick leave due to COVID-19 and will update members accordingly. The information below is based on current state and federal laws.
Two COVID-19 response bills related to employee notification and workers’ compensation were signed last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom and affect dental practice owners.
Soon after the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act took effect April 1, CDA received clarification from contacts within the Department of Labor that dentists and their employees were not included in the “health care provider” exemption as defined under the act, which is part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
What do I do if I run out of face masks, gloves, or other PPE?
If you do not have adequate supplies to protect you and your staff while treating an emergency patient, reach out to your local dental society, colleagues, other healthcare professionals or facilities to request them. Supplies can also be request through your local Medical and Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC). Please know that there may be a long waiting period. Access the MHOAC Contact List.
What do I do if I suspect exposure to COVID-19 in the practice? Do my staff and I need to self-quarantine?
That is a decision that can only be made at the time of the event and certain factors would have to be considered and assessed. For example, an employee or a patient whose partner has a co-worker exhibiting symptoms is a low-risk situation compared to a situation where an employee or patient has a partner who has symptoms consistent with COVID. Individuals who have reported possible exposures to their medical care providers should follow the provider’s instructions. Consult with your local public health department if exposure risk is high, for example, when a patient was seen in the office and then reports within a couple weeks that they have tested positive for COVID.
Policies and practices that all dental office employees should follow to minimize exposure.