Every residential address in the U.S. can now order four free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal government.The free tests present an opportunity for California dentists who are complying with the state’s vaccinate-or-test mandate that has been in force since Aug. 23.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week blocked one federal vaccination mandate for larger employers and upheld another for specified workers nationwide. But regardless of enforceability, the federal rules apply to very few California dental practices, which instead must comply with the stricter state or local vaccination mandate.
The Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards are effective today, Jan. 14, with changes including return-to-work criteria based on employee vaccination status and test results. Isolation and quarantine periods range from 0-10 days for health care personnel based on vaccination status and negative test results.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 10 released a state budget proposal that pulls from a projected surplus of $45.7 billion to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, combat the climate crisis, confront homelessness and cost of living and improve safety on community streets.
The Oakland City Council passed an ordinance that requires individuals ages 12 and older to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they can enter certain indoor places. Dental offices were included in the initial proposal, but the Alameda County Dental Society and local community clinics successfully advocated to have dental offices removed to protect everyone's access to essential dental care.
The guidance being issued by multiple federal, state and local agencies remains confusing and complicated, and that confusion is expected to continue over the next several weeks until the omicron surge wanes. Here's information that can help dentists right now.
California issued an order requiring approximately 2.5 million of the state’s health care workers to get the COVID-19 booster to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state order does not include dental offices, but Santa Clara County and San Francisco have since issued booster orders for dental personnel.
Although federal OSHA delayed its rule requiring COVID-19 vaccination for workers at larger employers across the U.S., dental practices of every size in California should continue to follow state and any applicable local vaccination and testing orders that are already in effect.
With the expected arrival of the omicron cornavirus variant in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 29 strengthened its recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are ages 18 and older.