Together we will get through this!
NCDHA 05/01/2020 Update
CDC Dental Settings Update
NCSBDE 4/28/2020 UPDATE
ADHA Tool Kit
DDS Able To Provide COVID-19 Antibody Testing
On May 4, 2020, the North Carolina Legislature passed Senate Bill 704, Session Law 2020-3 (COVID-19 Aid Act) which provides much needed relief for all North Carolinians during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newly passed legislation also temporarily allows specific agencies, including the NC State Board of Dental Examiners, the ability to waive statutory requirements regarding licensure during a national state of emergency with the addition of GS 90-28.5 to Article 2, Chapter 90. Dentists in NC are also given the authority to administer diagnostic and antibody tests for the detection of COVID-19 with tests approved and authorized by the FDA with the addition of GS 90-29 (b) (14) to Article 2, Chapter 90. Detailed information can be found at S.L. 2020-3, Section 3D.1.(a) and Section 3D.2.(a), page 21-22. At this time, it is unknown when these approved tests will be made available to NC dentists for use.
ADHA COVID-19 Updates for Dental Hygienists
The health and wellness of the dental hygiene community and the patients you serve is our top priority. We are closely monitoring developments surrounding COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will continue to keep you informed as its Division of Oral Health releases guidelines. Learn More
During thees times we understand families are facing challenging circumstances and we won’t you to know there is help available. If you or someone you know could benefit from additional support, please visit the links below:
NCDHA Update & Action Alert for Dental Hygienist and Patient Safety Re:COVID-19
Good Afternoon NC Hygienists,
As we continue to monitor the very fluid situation surround COVID-19, our office and I have had numerous inquiries on how to handle many site-specific situations within your offices. Some of these are in regard to PPE, some are in regard to continuing to work and nearly all are focused on patient safety. I am so proud to represent each of you and equally as proud for the stance you are all taking to Slow The Spread and for keeping our patients, our colleagues and ourselves healthy and safe during this unprecedented public health crisis.
It has come to our attention that despite the guidelines(1) issued and strongly recommended by The White House, CDC and ADA, many dental offices have chosen to continue to conduct business as usual, exposing not only their employees but their patients to the possibility of infection. This decision directly endangers dental hygienists, office staff and patients and I want you to know we are taking every step possible to reach Governor Cooper in an effort to mandate the closure of all dental offices for all non-emergency procedures. We believe such a mandate is necessary not only to help stop the spread of COVID-19 but to free up all available medical resources to the healthcare workers on the front lines who must have these items to do their jobs without potential exposure. We have also found that many offices are running low on PPE and are rationing or withholding PPE from providers in an attempt to stay open as long as possible. Rest assured that this is illegal and goes against existing guidelines, and citing new guidelines from OSHA – may not even be the proper PPE needed to continue to work in this environment; an N95 fitted mask or higher is recommended for all aerosol-generating procedures.(2)
“You have the right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires that employers provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA also provides information, training and assistance to workers and employers. Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or there are serious hazards.”(3)
For those of you experiencing any deviation from the national recommendations or violations of the OHS Act, I implore you to report them to the appropriate entity and take steps to ensure your personal safety. As always, please continue to visit www.ncdha.org/coronavirus for the most up to date information available on COVID-19, guidelines, unemployment help and advocacy links. We are all in this together for our patients, and each other!
Heather Edly, RDH, BSPH, CHES
(1)Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task- force-press-briefing-4/(2) Infection Control: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). (2020, March 19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/infection-control/control-recommendations.html#take_precautions(3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/dts/guidance/flu/protectyourself_healthcare.html
COVID-19 Oral Health Access Map
The practice sites on this map are options for North Carolinians with urgent oral health needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Oral health service sites have been advised to remain open only for emergency services at this time.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
This map was produced and is maintained by the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative, a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation. All information about clinic status and hours is subject to change as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. If you notice any information that needs to be updated, please email NCOHCInfo@Foundationhli.org with the subject line: Oral Health Access Map Update.
North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) is partnering with the Division of Public Health (DPH) to host weekly forums connecting providers with public health experts. Subject matter experts from DPH will provide a quick update on new developments and will then respond to questions received before or during the forum.
Every Friday from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Latest News & Events
To assist dental hygienists with the many unanswered questions about how to safely return to work, and the need for and availability of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), ADHA Task Force on Return to Work recently made revisions to their Interim Guidance...