CDA members are asking how the state’s reopening will apply to dental practices. Get answers to questions about physical distancing, patient screening, the use of face coverings and other requirements that will continue in health care settings after June 15.
The Cal/OSHA Standards Board on June 9 voted to withdraw the revisions to its COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards that the board approved June 3 and sent to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.
June 10 update: The Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to withdraw the revisions to its COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards that the board approved June 3 and sent to the OAL for review. Now, the board will propose new revisions that, upon approval, may take effect as early as June 17.
Some dentists are unclear about whether to maintain face covering and social distancing requirements in the dental office following the CDC's updated mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Cal/OSHA has not yet updated its COVID-19 prevention guidance for dental offices. Protocols for masks and social distancing are still required.
Several national chain pharmacies are now selling over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. While these tests have value in helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and potential future disease outbreaks, a rapid test appropriate for use in a dental or other health care setting has yet to be approved.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending that health care personnel and facilities move away from “crisis capacity conservation strategies” of respirators, including the decontamination of N95s for reuse, now that the domestic supply of those respirators has increased.
Cal/OSHA's current regulations on COVID-19-related screening, testing and quarantining apply to dentists, dental team members and other health care workers in California who are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, as well as to fully vaccinated patients who enter health care settings.
Most counties in California mandate annually that licensed health care facilities require their health care workers to provide evidence of influenza vaccination during the influenza “season.” The flu season typically runs between September and May, but it can be defined differently per county.
A dental practice in Massachusetts was cited for six serious respiratory protection violations, including for “failing to provide medical evaluations and fit testing for employees required to wear N-95 respirators as protection against the coronavirus,” according to an OSHA news release.