Masking requirement continues in California health care settings.
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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.
Update: The Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to withdraw the revisions to its COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards that the board approved June 3 and sent to the OAL for review. The board met again June 17 and approved new changes to the standards that took effect the same day after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order.
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.
The CDPH now recommends that vaccinated workers in high-risk settings be tested for COVID-19 immediately following a “close-contact” exposure and again three to five days after the exposure. The final version of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 ETS will take effect May 7 and end Dec. 31, 2022.
Update Sept. 30, 2022: New face mask guidance from the California Department of Public Health very clearly states that face masks are still required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in health care settings, including dental offices.
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 universal face-mask mandate will end Feb. 16 for most vaccinated Californians in public indoor settings, including restaurants and entertainment venues, but masks will continue to be required for all individuals in dental and medical offices and other specified settings.