Email Scam Alert
CDA has been notified by other state dental associations of an email scam that is targeting their members. The email has the subject line “Terry Recovery,” includes an association logo, and appears to be coming from the association’s email domain. This email is a scam and should be deleted immediately.
Understand guidance on practice disinfection and types of personal protection equipment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way dental practices operate and interact with patients. CDA’s COVID-19 Clinical Care Workgroup has developed tools and resources to support your team in following PPE protocols, infection control measures and keeping patients and employees safe during this unprecedented time.
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Elastomeric respirators: an alternative to N95 respirators
Elastomeric respirators, such as half facepiece or full facepiece tight-fitting respirators, are reusable devices with exchangeable cartridge filters that are available as alternatives to disposable half mask respirators, such as the N95. Elastomeric respirators are valuable to have during times of high demand as they can be repeatedly used, cleaned, disinfected and reused.
The Centers for Disease and Infection Control recommends the following strategies to help providers increase their supply of respirators for protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cleaning and disinfecting elastomeric respirators
Interim cleaning and disinfection procedures of elastomeric facepiece components and filter cartridges may be necessary for reuse during shortages. If not done properly, interim cleaning procedures could increase the risk of contact transmission or damage to the filter media.
CDC recommends the following procedures to effectively clean and disinfect the respirators after each use:
Discard filter cartridges if they become visibly soiled or wet, damaged, or notably harder to breathe through. Provided the cartridge integrity and filter have not been compromised, filters should be changed periodically and can be used for at least one year.
Sharing elastomeric respirators
During declared public emergencies when there is a shortage of respirators, the same elastomeric respirator may be used by multiple employees.
Initial Fit Test Necessary
Dentist employers should understand that although the required annual fit testing requirement has been temporarily suspended, they are still required to provide the initial fit test for each employee who is required to wear a respirator.
Fit testing is a two-step process that is usually performed by two different entities: First is the medical evaluation, which is followed by the actual fit test.
Dental employers will learn how to locate a medical evaluator and a fit tester by reviewing the N95 Respirator/Mask Information resources found in CDA’s Back to Practice Resource Center.