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Interim Infection Prevention

Saturday, January 1, 2022 | Posted in GEHA Connection Dental Network News

CDC revises guidelines for patient treatment during the COVID pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and evolves, so does our understanding of the best ways to combat the virus. In September 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines for health care personnel.

In the first adjusted recommendation, the CDC allows that there may be limited situations where fully vaccinated individuals in a county with low to moderate community transmission may choose not to wear a facemask. However, the safest practice is for everyone to continue wearing facemasks while in the office and not receiving oral treatment.

The second adjusted instruction concerns fully vaccinated patients who have close contact with a positive COVID infection. The CDC now states these fully vaccinated patients do not need to quarantine following exposure, but that community guidelines supersede all other suggestions.

When patients with moderate-to-severe immunocompromised systems are exposed to COVID but display no symptoms, the CDC instructs conducting at least two respiratory tests more than 24 hours apart. If two consecutive tests come back negative, the patient is not considered to be at risk.

Finally, the CDC proposes postponing all non-urgent dental treatment for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID exposure until quarantine is completed. Dental treatment for patients not suspected of COVID exposure should be conducted in individual patient rooms, oriented near return air vents. When performing aerosol-generating procedures, dental care workers should wear N95 or higher respirators and use high evacuation suction and dental dams to minimize the spread of aerosol droplets.

Consult your state dental board and state and local health departments for the latest current information and recommendations specific to your community levels of transmission.

“Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 September, 2021.

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