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CDC’s updated guidance for dental settings addresses screening, infection control protocols

August 05, 2020 4080

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 4 updated its guidance for dental settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 4 updated its Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The guidance addresses various screening and infection control protocols and includes the following changes:

  • An updated definition of a fever to either a measured temperature of at least 100.0°F or subjective fever to align with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.
  • In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during patient encounters with patients not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, CDC recommends that dental health care personnel:
    • Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated.
    • Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol generating procedures.
  • Added language that protective eyewear, such as safety glasses, with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.
  • Additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among dental professionals and others.

CDA’s Clinical Care Workgroup is updating its patient and employee screening forms to reflect the CDC’s new temperature guidance. Other resources in CDA’s Back to Practice Resource center are compliant with the CDC’s latest changes.