Since mid-March 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, government and health officials have been issuing recommendations in an effort to curb the spread of infection. These recommendations have been not only for the general public, but also for healthcare providers, including dental professionals.
With some states now lifting stay-at-home mandates and some dental offices beginning to reopen, there is much information that dental assistants should know during this time.
To help keep dental team members and patients safe, several organizations have issued guidelines for dental offices. Below, we’ve compiled some of the latest recommendations.
American Dental Association (ADA)
The ADA is maintaining a state-by-state list and an interactive map so that dental professionals can learn about the latest updates on recommendations and mandates in their area, as well as how they impact the dental profession.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC has published interim infection prevention and control guidance for dental settings during the COVID-19 response.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidance for dentistry workers and employers, including guidance on safe work practices and personal protective equipment, information about dentistry work tasks associated with exposure risk levels, and more.
Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP)
OSAP has a comprehensive COVID-19 webpage that is updated regularly and provides a list of information and links from leading health and dental organizations that you can use as a trusted source regarding COVID-19. Information includes best practices, interim guidelines, educational resources and patient resources.
OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate Program™
Dental professionals’ role in infection control is of critical importance now more than ever, as the nation and world navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Given these new conditions and continued health and safety concerns, now is the time to ensure you have the knowledge you need to keep yourself, your fellow dental team members, and your patients safe.
To help support and protect dental team members and patients, OSAP and the DALE Foundation have come together to develop the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate Program.
The OSAP-DALE Foundation Certificate Program includes two online educational modules and an online assessment. The program covers the application of Standard Precautions, as addressed in guidance documents for dental providers published by CDC in 2003 and 2016 and in the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.