The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.
According to the CDC, the updates complement their Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings and their Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The definition of fever has been updated to either a measured temperature equal to or higher than 100.0°F or subjective fever to align with the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.
Also, the updates recommend that in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during patient encounters with patients who aren’t suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, dental healthcare personnel:
- Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure that their eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated
- Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol-generating procedures
The updates further have added language that protective eyewear such as safety glasses and trauma glasses with gaps between the glasses and the face likely do not protect the eyes from all splashes and sprays.
And, the updates include additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among dental healthcare personnel and others.