Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Gets Full FDA Approval
August 23, 2021
The FDA granted full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 16 and older Monday, and it will be marketed as Comirnaty, according to ADA News. The vaccine’s emergency use authorization remains, allowing its use in individuals ages 12 to 15 and immunocompromised people receiving a third dose. The ADA urges dental professionals to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but has not called for a vaccination mandate, in line with CDC guidelines that do not mandate vaccination for health care professionals. As of June, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute, 93.4% of dentists said they had received at least one vaccine dose, and in late July, 78.2% of dental hygienists had received at least one dose. Read more.
CDA Supports Steps to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
August 12, 2021
19 of Colorado’s leading healthcare organizations, including the Colorado Dental Association, joined together in urging support for the following steps to stop the spread of COVID-19:
All healthcare employees should become vaccinated.
Join us in expressing support for healthcare organizations that independently adopt policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff, with local factors determining whether, how, and when such policies are implemented.
Individuals ages 2 and older should follow CDC guidelines for mask wearing indoors, especially children returning to in-person learning this fall.
With case counts and hospitalizations once again on the rise, we felt it was time to issue a strong message of support for the two best tools at our disposal: vaccines and masks. Recognizing the politicization that has occurred around both, we thought that a strong showing of the healthcare community could lend support to those who have already made difficult decisions, as well as to those who may be considering such action. As such, the linked statement was developed. Read more.
CDC Revises Guidelines Regarding AGPs
July 16, 2021
The CDC has revised infection control guidance for dental offices, removing recommendations that dentists avoid aerosol-generating procedures for all patients and replacing it with language advising that the procedures be avoided only for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If aerosol-generating procedures cannot be avoided for patients who may have COVID-19, an airborne infection isolation room should be used if possible, and only essential personnel clad in appropriate personal protective equipment are present. The guidance about disinfection protocols and universal precautions for all patients remains unchanged. Read the ADA News story.
Dental Practices “largely exempt” from OSHA Rule
June 15, 2021
The OSHA emergency standard, released June 10, provides additional guidance for healthcare settings, including hospitals and nursing homes, where all employees may not be screened for COVID-19, and non-employees and patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 are allowed to enter and may be treated. Dental offices most likely to be affected by the new standard include hospital-based oral surgery practices or those dentists who provide care for COVID-19 patients.
Other dental offices are largely exempt so long as they continue pre-appointment screenings of patients, as well as screening of staff and other non-patients entering the practice. Dental offices should also have a COVID-19 plan in place with a hazard assessment to mitigate risk to employees. To learn more about this Emergency Temporary Standard, the ADA analysis and how the standard affects dentistry, visit ada.org/virus (member login required to access documents).
Masks and Changing Mandates
May 18, 2021
In the past week both the CDC and the State of Colorado have updated mask wearing guidelines.
The amended executive order states that fully vaccinated people can go without masks in public indoor spaces unless the setting requires otherwise. Unvaccinated people over age 11 are encouraged to continue wearing masks in all public indoor spaces where members of different households are present.
Masks are still required in certain settings, including in schools for unvaccinated students, teachers, and staff, as well as other settings which are laid out in the executive order. Local communities and businesses may have additional mask restrictions. Read more
If I’m Vaccinated, Do I Need to Quarantine?
According to the CDC, individuals do not have to quarantine after a COVID exposure if they are fully vaccinated. Stay informed on the latest guidance.
March 11, 2021 CDPHE released the 12th amended Public Health Order 20-29.
The latest revision of PHO 20-29 made substantial changes and the CDA and Colorado Dental Hygienists’ Association (CODHA) are working together to obtain additional guidance from CDPHE and DORA.
The PHO that for the past year has been up to 26 pages in length is now three pages long and has removed its former guidelines and requirements for dental providers and offices. Only hospital requirements remain in PHO 20-29.
While the state guidelines under PHO 20-29 have been lifted, it is important to continue practicing with elevated precautions, recognizing that most patients still have not received their COVID-19 vaccination(s).
The CDA and CODHA encourage dental practices to continue following the federal CDC and OSHA guidelines:
February 16, 2021
Late last week, CDPHE released its 11th revision of PHO 20-29.
As of Feb. 11, 2021, there are 409,683 known cases of COVID-19 in Colorado; 22,655 Coloradans have been hospitalized and 5,568 Coloradans have died from COVID-19. Very few changes were made in this PHO revision.
Here are the noted changes:
Medical Facility Infection Control Policies:
While fairly straightforward, it is noted in several sections that if a patient/visitor reports symptoms, or if an employee is symptomatic that they need to “ensure their mask remains in place (covering both nose and mouth)” and leave the premisis immediately.
“If there are either two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff/patients with onset in a 14 day period and epi-linkage, or one confirmed case and two or more probable cases of COVID-19 among staff/patients with onset in a 14 day period with epi-linkage, contact your local health department.“
This order will expire 30 days from Feb. 11, 2021 unless extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing.
Gov. Polis Authorizes Dentists to Administer Vaccine in Specific Settings
January 13, 2021
Emergency rules for numerous healthcare professions were adopted on Jan. 11 for the expansion of scope of practice regarding the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination. The rule changes apply to inpatient, outpatient and hospital settings under certain delegation.
January 13, 2021
The latest revision of PHO 20-29 made very few changes. We encourage you to read the order in its entirety. Following, are the noted changes that appear in this ninth amended version of PHO 20-29.
As of Jan. 12, 2021, there were 364,336 known cases of COVID-19 in Colorado. 4,281 Coloradans have died from COVID-19.