As COVID-19 cases rise daily in California with experts warning of a surge that will continue into the new year, CDA wants to ensure member dentists are aware of all the resources that CDA’s Clinical Care Workgroup and Practice Support team have developed specifically to help them practice in the current environment while complying with Cal/OSHA and other regulations.
Recent calls to CDA Practice Support reveal that dentists are unclear about quarantine requirements. Members also have inquired about when they would need to close the practice due to COVID-19 exposures or outbreaks ― and those conversations indicate that some offices are closing prematurely.
In some phone calls, dentists are just learning about a new Cal/OSHA regulation that prohibits them from requiring their employees to provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to work. Or that, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, they must provide to their employees a written notice of potential exposure to COVID-19 as required by state law.
Practice Support analysts are available to CDA members for one-one-one support, but resources are always available on-demand, 24/7, to assist dentists and their teams, including a new FAQ that answers the top five COVID-19-related questions members have now. Here’s a quick summary of those resource and where to go to find them.
Dentists can read CDA’s top 5 FAQ on COVID-19 exposure for answers to all of the following:
For example, an office closure will occur only when one of three conditions is met: (1) The office cannot operate due to staff or provider shortages resulting from illness or quarantine, (2) the local health department orders the closure due to a workplace outbreak defined as more than three sick employees within 14 days and (3) Cal/OSHA finds dangerous conditions exist at the workplace.
In addition to the FAQ, a new flowchart shows dentist employers how to pay employees who have contracted or may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the dental office.
The Reporting Symptoms/Positive COVID-19 Test Results was published in June and includes an online training module for dental team members, a reporting flowchart and related required forms and notices.
Specifically, participants will learn when to:
Identification of close contacts is a very important piece of the training, particularly when determining whether there is a need to close the practice, said CDA Regulatory Compliance Analyst Teresa Pichay.
“Be sure to collect and record certain information from the reporting party, and then to do an assessment of whether there were close contacts. If there are no close contacts, it may not be necessary to close the practice,” she said.
Most participants working at an average pace can complete the training module in 10 to 15 minutes.
Find all COVID-19 resources for dentists in the COVID-19 Resource Center.