On Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for dental settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 The August 4, 2020, update restructures the guidance for clarity and changes recommendations for eye protection and aerosol-generating procedures.
Specific updates include the following:
- Eye protection—In areas where there is "moderate to substantial community transmission" and a patient is not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, providers should wear eye protection in addition to face masks.
- Respirators—In areas where there is "moderate to substantial community transmission" and a patient is not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, providers should use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol-generating procedures.
- Eyeware—Eye protection that has gaps between glasses and the face is insufficient, as it fails to offer protection from splashes and sprays.
- Fever—For patients with suspected cases of COVID-19, a fever is now defined as (1) a subjective fever or (2) a temperature measured at 100.0° F or above.
The guidance also highlights the need for dental services to be prioritized based on the criticalness of care. It further emphasizes that dental providers must be proactive in their communications to staff and patients about the need to stay home if sick.
A link to the full guidance may be found here:
- Guidance for Dental Settings. Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Guidance for Dental Settings. Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated August 4, 2020. Accessed August 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dental-settings.html
Zachary Kulsrud is the editorial director for Endeavor Business Media's dental group, publishers of Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and RDH magazine.
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