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OSHA update: Despite ‘gray areas’ of new COVID-19 protection standard, most dental offices to remain exempt

June 25, 2021
The compliance deadline for a recent COVID-19 emergency temporary standard looms; most dental practices will be exempt but need to have a written plan and do a hazard assessment.

On June 10, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19 for workplace settings in which dental offices were exempt from needing to comply.

The standard took effect on June 21; qualifying providers have until July 6 to comply with most provisions.

According to Bloomberg Law, despite some ‘gray areas’ of the ruling, most dental offices are among the health-care providers to remain covered by the standard’s exemption for non-hospital ambulatory care settings. Dental offices that could be affected by the standard would include hospital-based oral surgery practices or those providing care for COVID-19 patients.

Following the news of the exemption earlier in June, ADA president Daniel J. Klemmedson, DDS, MD touted “new infection control guidance and very low COVID-19 infection rate for dentists and dental hygienists” as proof that “dental practices are safe workplaces.”

Read Carve-Outs in OSHA Covid-19 Health-Care Rule Create ‘Gray Areas’
Read the ADA press release on the exemption