May 15, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that healthcare systems prioritize urgent visits and delay elective care to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. A consequence of the pandemic has been the under-utilization of important medical services for patients with non-COVID-19-related urgent and emergent health needs. As the pandemic continues, healthcare systems must balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and healthcare personnel. Because the effects of COVID-19 varies among communities, healthcare systems will also need to consider the local level of COVID-19 transmission when making decisions about the provision of medical services. CDC has released a Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic to provide healthcare systems with a framework to deliver non-COVID-19 health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is unknown at this time how COVID-19 may permanently change infection control practices in dental health care settings, but CDC continually assesses emerging scientific evidence for developing policies, guidelines, and recommendations. CDC is working to update its COVID-19 guidance for dental settings in preparation for resuming care. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will release updates as information becomes available.
According to the CDC Division of Oral Health, “dental healthcare personnel are licensed by their state regulatory body and should practice according to their state dental practice acts or other relevant regulations. CDC is not a regulatory agency and does not publish regulations or other legally enforceable standards related to infection prevention and control in dental healthcare settings. All healthcare facilities should be aware of updates to local and state public health recommendations and dental healthcare personnel should regularly consult their state dental boards or other regulating agencies for information and rules specific to their jurisdictions.”