New mask guidance takes effect April 3, 2023.
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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.
Health experts are urging people to get the COVID-19 bivalent booster and a flu shot this season to protect themselves as well as people who are more vulnerable. Some local health departments mandate flu vaccination for health care workers, including dentists and dental staff.
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.
The February 2022 issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association features articles on how dentistry has responded and adapted to the “new normal” of living and practicing with COVID-19, with the expectation that SARS-CoV-2 will eventually become endemic.