17 March 2020
Utah Dental Teams,
Thank you for your patience as the UDA Board carefully assessed information from all parties weighing in on the COVID-19 situation before formulating our support statement.
As leaders in the healthcare profession, we must be proactive to limit the spread of this virus. Dentists and their employees are in one of the highest risk categories for transmission and contraction of the virus, with many routine dental procedures potentially transmitting the virus via aerosolization of fluids.
To ensure the safety of our patients, communities and dental team members, UDA recommends following the measures outlined by the ADA announcement on March 16th and the CDC recommendations (see links below) postponing elective treatment and concentrating on only urgent (or emergent) dental care. We will continue to seek guidance from the CDC, American Dental Association and Utah Department of Health in treating patients in need. Each dentist should make educated decisions on the appropriateness of treatment for each and every patient based on the nature of the oral care needs, medical history, and disease burden in the community.
We also suggest some simple recommendations for you, your patients and your practices to prevent potential exposure when dental treatments are necessary:
Pre-screen patients by phone prior to the visit by asking about recent travel history and current health. Specific COVID-19 symptoms are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If the patient reports these symptoms, they should be referred to their primary care physician.
When possible, ask patients to remain in their cars instead of coming into the waiting room. Notify them by cell phone when their treatment room is ready.
Minimize the number of patients in the reception area and maintain space between patients per CDC guidelines. (Social Distancing)
Have patients wash hands in the operatory and rinse with 1% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Clean and disinfect public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs and bathrooms.
Remove all reading materials and children’s toys/books from waiting rooms.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and commitment to everyone’s health and safety at a difficult time. As this is a rapidly developing situation, please be assured that your UDA Officers and Board are looking at the massive amounts of information provided in order to make informed recommendations for our communities, patients and dental teams. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Stay apprised of the latest developments at:
Utah Dental Association Board
PS- For questions on employment issues created by COVID-19: Office staff and their employment questions can be directed to the Department of Workforce Services. Go to: jobs.utah.gov/