Two California counties have issued new flu and COVID-19 vaccination orders that include dental offices and will take effect Nov. 1. Counties may amend their orders at any time and other counties could issue new orders during flu season.
The CDC recommends that individuals receive their flu vaccination in September or October. Some cities and counties in California mandate that certain health care workers, including workers in dental offices, receive the flu vaccine.
A new safety needle is on the market and is now the fifth safety needle, or safety sharp, available to California dentists. Dental practices that do not use safety sharps should evaluate the NopoGuard as part of the Cal/OSHA-required documentation.
Patients, visitors and workers not performing clinical procedures are no longer be required to wear face masks in dental offices and other indoor health care settings in California as of April 3 per new guidance from the state Department of Public Health.
Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations took effect Feb. 3, replacing the most recent version of the emergency temporary standards that California dentists have been complying with since May 2022.
Workers in California dental offices are no longer required to quarantine after a close-contact exposure with someone who has COVID-19 if the exposed worker is asymptomatic and does not test positive, according to updated state guidance.
The California Department of Public Health on Sept. 17 ended the COVID-19 testing mandate for unvaccinated health care workers and other individuals in high-risk settings, which include dental offices.
Two significant updates on COVID-19 quarantining and at-home testing have occurred in the last week with potential impact on dental practices and staff.
The CDC has urged health care providers to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox regardless of specific risk factors. Dentists are well-positioned to help detect the virus during patient examinations.
The risk of monkeypox transmission in dental practices is low, currently, but as health care providers, dentists and dental teams can take steps now to minimize the virus’s spread, including through appropriate screening of patients and employees.
To be compliant with Cal/OSHA standards, California dental practices are required to train any team member who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. CDA has resources available to support your practice in achieving compliance.
When performing or involved with aerosol-generating procedures (open suctioning of airways, sputum induction and others), dental health care personnel should continue to wear NIOSH-approved N95, N95-equivalent or higher-level respirators.