COVID-19 Screening

 
On April 27, 2020, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AzDHS) published its “Executive Order 2020-32 Frequently Asked Questions,” including a “Dental Provider FAQ” (on pages 5-6) - azdhs.gov.  Thereafter, your Arizona Dental Association (AzDA) provided additional information about AzDHS’s Dental Provider FAQ
 
AzDHS’s FAQ clearly discusses COVID-19 screening:  “dental providers are strongly encouraged to screen patients (azdhs.gov) and staff, prior to any dental treatment or procedure, for COVID-19.”  The Executive Order goes on to state:  “the screening process must screen all staff, patients, and visitors prior to entry into the facility.”  
 
As a member benefit, AzDA wanted to provide this update about COVID-19 screening, aggregating various information and resources from various entities.
 
Please keep in mind, the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, and therefore guidance, FAQs, mandates, and other information may evolve and change, so please stay informed.
 
As a dentist, it is ultimately up to you to exercise professional judgment and make well-informed and appropriate decisions regarding your practice, your patients, and your team members.  The safety of you, your patients, and your team should be a priority when you exercise that professional judgment.  In making these decisions, stay up-to-date on information from entities like the American Dental Association (ADA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), Arizona Board of Dental Examiners (BODEX), and Arizona Department of Health Services (AzDHS).  We recommend frequently checking the websites for these entities, including ada.org/virus.
 
Thank you for your AzDA membership.
 

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES (AzDHS)

See AzDHS’s Guidance on COVID-19 screening: azdhs.gov
 

AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION (ADA)

See the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit, which includes information about screening patients and team members - success.ada.org

An ADA Patient Screening Form can be found at:  success.ada.org
 

ARIZONA STATE BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS (BODEX)

Patients should be screened for active disease prior to providing dental care in the office. Please take note of:
  1. Any individual who exhibits or reports signs of acute respiratory illness such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Take temperature readings.
  2. Recent travel to any locations designated by the CDC to have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19 (cdc.gov). Verify when the patient returned to the United States.
  3. Close contact with an individual, such as a family member or co-worker, diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last two weeks.
Retrieved from dentalboard.az.gov
 

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)

Stay at Home if Sick
 
Implement sick leave policies for dental healthcare personnel that are flexible, non-punitive, and consistent with public health guidance, allowing employees to stay home if they have symptoms of respiratory infection. Ask staff to stay home if they are sick and send staff home if they develop symptoms while at work.
 
Telephone screen all patients for signs or symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.). If the patient reports signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness, avoid dental care. . . .
 
Provision of Emergency Care to Patients with COVID-19 During the COVID-19 Pandemic
 
If a patient arrives at your facility and is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, take the following actions:
  1. Defer dental treatment
  2. Give the patient a mask to cover his or her nose and mouth.
  3. If not acutely sick, send the patient home and instruct the patient to call a medical provider.
  4. If acutely sick (for example, has trouble breathing) refer the patient to a medical facility.
Retrieved from cdc.gov
 

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (OSHA)

People with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) can experience mild to severe respiratory illness. People with these symptoms (cdc.gov) or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
Emergency warning signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that may suggest that you need urgent medical attention include:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to be awakened (i.e., aroused)
  • Bluish lips or face
 
*This list is not all-inclusive.  Consult your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
 
(Some infected healthcare workers have also reported experiencing a sore throat and lost sense of smell, but the relationship between these symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 infection is unclear).
 
Retrieved from osha.gov
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