The American Dental Association (ADA) has called upon dentists to postpone elective procedures. We are encouraging all dental practice to utilize the ADA’s resource guide which can be found here. They have also issued a Frequently Asked Questions page.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
In order to mitigate this confusion, they released a resource on Wednesday to help clarify what is considered urgent vs elective, including examples.
Dentists Face Greatest Coronavirus Risk
Dentists are among the largest group of healthcare workers who most at risk of contracting COVID-19, according to this interactive chart from The New York Times.
We’ve been getting many calls about where to locate N95 respirators. At this time, N95 respirators are prioritized for the medical community dealing directly with patients showing symptoms of COVID-19. The usage of these N95 masks and other respiratory protection is only required for all healthcare personnel providing direct care to these patients (OSHA).
This has been a major predicament for the entire medical community, especially the front line physicians and nurses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an article entitled “Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks”. They are encouraging healthcare providers to selectively cancel elective and non-urgent procedures and appointments for which a facemask is typically used as well as implement extended use of facemasks. Read the article here.
Department of Labor: FLSA, FMLA, & FFCRA
Employers and employees alike are facing enormous negative effects on wages and hours worked.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) : Under the FMLA, covered employers must provide employees job-protected, unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons, which may include the flu where complications arise
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19
Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
OSHA guidelines state that employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. Since COVID-19 is an illness that results in days away from work, it must be recorded and reported. According to OSHA, “records must be maintained at the worksite for at least five years. Each February through April, employers must post a summary of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. Also, if requested, copies of the records must be provided to current and former employees, or their representatives.”
COVID-19: More Resources
Sample Letter for Patients (ADA)Use this note to communicate to your patients your availability during this time
Prepare Your Workplace for COVID19 (ADA & OSHA)Planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE)
Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (ADA)This document provides answers to some recent member question regarding: Business Interruption Insurance, HIPAA, Student Loans, Federal Income Taxes, SBA Loans, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, Communicating with patients, Maintaining the practice’s physical environment, Communicating with staff
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Situation Webpage (CDC) Dentists are urged to view this page frequently for up-to-date insight on the coronavirus and its spread.
Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (OSHA) Employers and workers should follow these general practices to help prevent exposure to coronavirus
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA/Department of Labor)
Surgical Mask and Gown Conservation Strategies – Letter to Healthcare Providers (FDA) Recommendations for conservation strategies for use by healthcare organizations
Non-occupational Uses of Respiratory Protection – What Public Health Organizations and Users Need to Know (CDC) Who should use respirators, how they should be fitted, and best practices while using them