Updated September 10, 2021: CDC has updated its infection control guidance for all healthcare settings, including dental offices: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html#print
Summary of recent changes:
- Updated source control recommendations to address limited situations for healthcare facilities in counties with low to moderate community transmission where select fully vaccinated individuals could choose not to wear source control. However, in general, the safest practice is for everyone in a healthcare setting to wear source control.
- Updated quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated patients who have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection to more closely align with recommendations for the community.
- Clarified the recommended intervals for testing asymptomatic HCP with a higher-risk exposure and patients with close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Added content from previously posted CDC guidance addressing:
- Recommendations for fully vaccinated HCP, patients, and visitors
- SARS-CoV-2 testing
- Duration of Transmission-Based Precautions for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection
- Specialized healthcare settings (e.g., dental, dialysis, EMS)
Please note: Dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) should refer to this guidance, which includes a section specific to dental settings (doc), for infection control considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 10, 2021, the Guidelines for Dental Settings will display a web banner noting that the page will no longer be updated, and webpage visitors will be redirected to the Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Updated July 13, 2021: CDC has made an edit to the December 4, 2020, version of the COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Settings, as well as the Considerations for School Sealant Programs During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Previously, the guidance stated that dental healthcare personnel should avoid aerosol-generating procedures for all patients, regardless of known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection status. This language, which encompassed all patients regardless of level of risk, has been removed.
Please note: dental healthcare personnel should continue to avoid aerosol-generating procedures for patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, if possible.
CDC still requires offices to:
Screen everyone entering the dental healthcare facility for fever and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or exposure to others with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Document absence of symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Actively take their temperature. Fever is either measured temperature ≥100.0°F or subjective fever.
- Ask them if they have been advised to self-quarantine because of exposure to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Properly manage anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been advised to self-quarantine:
As we have been advising, dental offices should continue to implement COVID infection control protocols and follow the latest CDC’s guidance outlined in in the Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination and Guidance for Dental Settings.
Check out Dr. Mimi DeLessio-Matta, CSDA President, latest video! She answers your questions about the CDC Mask Guidelines and what it means for Dental Offices.