From CDA on COVID-19
New Resources for Voluntary Suspension of Non-Urgent or Non-Emergency Dental Care
Late Sunday, the California Dental Association requested the cooperation of all California dentists during this state of emergency to help limit infections, "flatten the curve" and slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Following CDA's strong recommendation that dentists voluntarily suspend non-urgent or non-emergency dental care for the next 14 days, the Practice Support team developed guidance and tools to use when considering limiting services to emergency care only and making determinations about essential care. Find updated resources in our information center at cda.org/covid19:
- FAQs on suspending non-urgent or non-emergency care, limited services, office closures and communicating to staff and patients
- Protocols for defining and treating patients who require urgent care
- FAQs on sick leave, employment, compensation and liability
We will continue to update resources to address additional questions from our members as they come in. CDA Practice Support is available at 800.232.7645; however, due to the unprecedented nature of this pandemic, our response times may be impacted. We appreciate your patience. As this situation continues to quickly evolve, please refer to cda.org/covid19 regularly for timely updates.
Dental Board waivers
On March 30, 2020 Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-39-20, authorizing the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to waive any of the professional licensing requirements relating to healing arts licensees in Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, and any accompanying regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, the examination, education, experience, and training requirements necessary to obtain and maintain licensure, and requirements governing the practice and permissible activities for licensees.
The Dental Board of California is working closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic and allow licensees regulated by board to maintain and renew a license and remain employed.
Current waivers in place are:
- Examination and continuing education requirements for current healthcare licensees.
- Reactivation requirements for inactive, retired, or canceled licensees.
A full list of waivers will be placed on the DCA website as they are approved.
The board encourages licensed dentists, registered dental assistants, and registered dental assistants in extended functions to be part of the workforce to support the medical surge during this time of need. The state is in need for help at quarantine sites, testing sites, and medical surge facilities and needs assistance with pre-hospital triage and pharmacy services.
Interested medical and health care professionals are encouraged to visit healthcorps.ca.gov for more information and to register for the California Health Corps. The board thanks its licensees for doing their part during the COVID-19 health emergency.
Executive Order N-39-20: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.30.20-EO-N-39-20.pdf
DCA Full List of Current Waivers: https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html
Health Corps.: https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html
Sign up for California Health Corps
Under a new executive order, dentists are considered essential health care providers and are encouraged to sign up to join the California Health Corps, a newly launched statewide effort to prepare the health care delivery system for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients by opening additional health care sites.
"If you have a background in health care, we need your help," Gov. Newsom said in the news release following his executive order issued March 30.
Registered dental hygienists and dental assistants can also register to join the effort. Recruits will be financially compensated and provided malpractice insurance coverage for the care they provide. (As those specifics become available, CDA will communicate them at cda.org/covid19.)
The order allows for another 50,000 hospital beds at minimum for the state's health care facilities. It also temporarily maximizes the number of available and qualified health care workers who can staff the additional beds or relieve frontline personnel by caring for individuals who need treatment for conditions other than COVID-19.
Visit the California Health Corps website for complete eligibility details and to register to join California's emergency staffing response to the coronavirus outbreak. Select "Medical" from the occupation-type drop-down menu, then select your occupation. You will have the option to indicate whether you are licensed/certified or non-licensed, as well as active or retired.
After California Health Corps verifies your registration and California license for clinical practice (if applicable), Health Corps will ask you to submit an application to complete the process and determine your skills, experience, location preferences and interests prior to hiring and deployment.
As a dentist, your skills can be used in the state's fight against COVID-19 in many ways, including:
- Taking vital signs.
- Testing for COVID-19.
- Triaging patients.
- Administering oxygen.
- Administering injectables, including vaccinations.
- Writing prescriptions.
- Intubating and providing deep sedation or general anesthesia services – applies to oral surgeons and dentist anesthesiologists only.
Assigned staffing locations will vary according to the highest need in the state, but California Health Corps said it will try to match applicants' geographical preferences.
In California, newly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 illness, which is caused by the novel coronavirus that originated last December and rapidly spread across the globe, are still rising in California with 6,932 positive cases reported March 30, up more than 18% from the previous day.
"California must continue to prepare our health care delivery system and make sure it has every resource to respond to a potential surge in COVID-19 patients," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of California Health and Human Services. "California's most valuable resource is its people and I join the Governor in calling on all medical professionals to join the fight against COVID-19." In times of catastrophic emergencies, flexibility on scope of practice and licensure is allowed under California law.
Register to join California's expanded workforce. For more COVID-19 news and resources, including future updates about the Health Care Corps initiative, visit cda.org/covid19.
Shortcuts to COVID-19 Information and Resources
California Dept. of Public Health (April 7 2020): CDPD.ca.gov (NEW: 4/7/20)
California Dental Association: CDA.org
American Dental Association: ADA.gov
Center for Disease Control (CDC): CDC.gov
Important Postings for Your Business
!! EMPLOYEE RIGHTS PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
Social Distancing, Appendix A (*as noted in county shelter in place ordinances listed below)
Sample Notices/Posters for employees and patients entering the dental office:
*Shelter in Place" Ordinances for
Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties:
San Benito County: