On June 10, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) on COVID-19. This standard requires added substantial infection controls in settings like hospitals and nursing homes. Dental practices are largely exempted from the new OSHA emergency temporary standard; however, dental practices must continue to follow some key provisions:
- Pre-appointment screenings are still necessary
- Everyone (patients, non-employees on site, and staff) must be screened prior to entry and those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter, and
- Dental practices should have a written COVID-19 plan.
Widespread adoption of the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance which included strengthened infection control measures along with very low COVID-19 infection rates for dentists and dental hygienists provide strong evidence that dental practices are safe workplaces. The ETS is a win for science and for ADA federal advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession.
A state OSHA or other local regulatory body may enact a more stringent standard, including one that does cover dental offices. Consult with your state and local dental societies regarding what may be happening in your area.
Read more in the ADA News story and watch the video message from ADA President Daniel Klemmedson, DDS, MD.