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Governor signs legislation permitting California dentists to apply for licensure to administer rapid COVID-19 tests in the office

CDA's testing toolkit updated with detailed licensure application instructions, reporting requirements

October 14, 2021 4952
Image of rapid COVID-19 test that reads

Quick Summary:

CDA received confirmation from state officials that dentist employers with the CLIA Certificate of Waiver and LFS Lab Registration can administer waived COVID-19 tests to dental team members who are not patients of record to comply with state and local public health orders that are now in effect. Waived tests are simple tests that typically generate results quickly and have a very low risk of incorrect results.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 8 signed into law CDA-sponsored legislation that allows California-licensed dentists to apply for the requisite laboratory licensure to administer rapid COVID-19 tests in the dental office. AB 526, authored by Assemblymember Jim Wood, DDS (Santa Rosa), also gives dentists permanent authority to administer FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 and influenza vaccines as described.

CDA received confirmation from state officials that dentist employers with the CLIA Certificate of Waiver and LFS Lab Registration can administer waived COVID-19 tests to dental team members who are not patients of record to comply with state and local public health orders that are now in effect. Waived tests are simple tests that typically generate results quickly and have a very low risk of incorrect results.

Dentist employers who do not wish to administer tests in the office can either arrange for dental team members to obtain weekly COVID-19 tests off-site at community testing sites, including pharmacies, or provide over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests for patients or dental team members to self-conduct. Team members must report their test results to their employer.

Applying for licensure: Details included in CDA’s updated testing toolkit

Dentists who are considering expanding their practice to include rapid COVID-19 testing should read CDA’s updated COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Toolkit for detailed instructions on applying for the requisite laboratory licensure to administer the tests.

The toolkit explains and provides:

  • Step-by-step directions for applying for a California Laboratory Field Services Department registration to provide rapid COVID-19 tests in the dental office
  • Reporting obligations for dental offices that are administering waived COVID-19 tests on-site
  • New guidance on testing dental team members in accordance with state and local public health orders
  • Explanations of the types of COVID-19 tests approved for use in the dental office 

Access CDA’s updated COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Toolkit.