The American Dental Association issues guidelines for a positive COVID-19 test
In order to help dentists manage the health of their team members during the COVID-19 crisis, the American Dental Association (ADA) has created a series of guidelines for dental staff on how to react if they are exposed to a patient who later tests positive for COVID-19 or has a household member test positive.
What Are the ADA’s Suggested Actions After a Positive COVID-19 Test?
Building on the CDC’s interim guidelines for health professionals during the COVID-19, the ADA has produced a set of procedures specifically for dental practices. The full document can be found on the ADA website, but below are the most important sections:
- Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, those staff who have been potentially exposed should follow all medical recommendations, including quarantining for 14 days to monitor symptoms.
- The practice should try to determine who may have had contact with the COVID-19 positive individual when they were in the office.
- A risk assessment should be conducted by any healthcare provider who was exposed to the individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 so they can take steps, such as quarantining, seeking testing, and implementing any appropriate work restrictions as suggested by the CDC.
- All environmental surfaces in the dental facility should be disinfected as per the guidance outlined in the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance.
- All unaffected staff should seek testing and to keep the rest of the staff informed regarding the date tested, when they received results, and what those results were.
- The practice should contact all patients who may have had contact with the COVID-19 positive individual to determine whether they’re symptomatic. Those patients showing symptoms should self-quarantine for 14 days and notify their physician if the symptoms continue to develop.
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Cynthia Lofquist, R.D.A.
Dental Assisting Program Chair
Concorde Career Institute