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Most of California nearing new stay-at-home order; no new restrictions on dental care

Dentists should stay vigilant, communicate the importance of dental appointments with patients

December 03, 2020 21441

Quick Summary:

In regions where intensive care unit capacity drops below 15%, counties will be subject to new restrictions. Under the order, residents will be directed to remain in their homes for three weeks minimum, unless they are conducting essential activities.

Today Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would impose regional stay-at-home orders based on hospital capacity in response to the rapidly rising test positivity rate and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  

In regions where intensive care unit capacity drops below 15%, counties will be subject to new restrictions. Under the order, residents will be directed to remain in their homes for three weeks minimum, unless they are conducting essential activities. The restrictions announced today do not include the provision of dental care and other essential health care services. 

The regions are five geographic areas: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Gov. Newsom said that each region is expected to fall below that capacity with the next few weeks, if not days.  

Dentists should stay vigilant, communicate with patients 

It is critical that dentists continue to be vigilant on all safety measures and protocols, including following guidance from the California Department of Public Health. CDA’s Back to Practice resources include tips, tools and reminders on dental office procedures around disinfection and infection control: 

Plus, you can revisit dozens of other resources to knowledge-check with your dental team. Dentists should also ensure that the practice has an adequate supply of PPE for patient volume. As a reminder, CDA members have access to TDSC.com, Powered by Henry Schein to fulfill their PPE needs. 

Communicating with patients is also imperative. CDA encourages members to:

  • Reinforce with patients the procedures you have in place to keep them safe and the importance of keeping their routine dental appointments to stay healthy. Doing this on a regular basis will ensure patients are informed when they are making decisions about upcoming appointments.
  • Emphasize the importance of oral health in overall health.
  • Encourage patients to get their seasonal flu vaccine.
  • Continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. 

CDA strongly urges members to reinforce the gravity of the state’s COVID-19 crisis by encouraging peers, patients and staff to follow stay-at-home guidance and directives from state officials to help preserve health care capacity over the coming weeks.    

Staying the course on protocols will mitigate risk for you, your staff and your patients. CDA is here to support you in your practice efforts with your teams and your patients.  

CDA is monitoring developments, continues to advocate for members 

CDA continues to advocate aggressively with authorities to reinforce that dental care is essential health care and dental teams are prepared to treat their patients’ oral health needs during the pandemic challenges. CDA will also continue to track updates from public health and regulatory authorities including CDC, CDPH and OSHA, as well as county/local-level advisories for any developments or changes.  

Read more about CDA’s efforts in COVID-19 surge preparedness: A message to CDA members

CDA will continue to keep you updated as information develops.