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Update on COVID-19/coronavirus



March 16, 2020
For ongoing updates on COVID-19/Coronavirus, please go to: https://www.tda.org/COVID19-Resources


We continue to actively monitor the COVID-19/coronavirus situation and will remain a resource for Texas’ dentists, providing current, credible clinical and scientific information for our members. Our number one concern is the health and safety of patients, dentists, and staff teams. 

TDA has been in contact with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners and Governor Abbott’s office. As of March 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. central, there are no federal or state directives mandating dental office closures .

State governments and dental associations are issuing specific COVID-19 guidance, including the American Dental Association’s recommendation issued on Monday, March 16. TDA members are encouraged to review available resources and apply that information to their individual situations when making a decision about whether to keep offices open and whether to triage non-emergency dental care. Absent governmental directives (whether federal, state, county, or municipal), it is up to each individual dentist to exercise their professional judgement in deciding what additional precautions should be implemented and whether or how to continue dental office operations.

Should your practice remain open, TDA recommends all offices implement heightened levels of disinfection. TDA recommends anyone identifying with the following, including staff, not go to the dentist for elective procedures:

  • Fever 
  • Currently has a cough or shortness of breath
  • History of significant chronic illness
  • Compromised immune system
  • You or a family member are considered high-risk
  • You or a family member have travelled to a location with a level 3 travel health notice
  • Airline travel in the past 2 weeks
  • Previously asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine
  • Close contact to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 infection

TDA Member Dentists Get Free COVID-19 Training
TDA Perks Partner Smart Training provided TDA members with a no-cost online training module on Coronavirus in Dental Settings. The training is available here. A link to the training module was also sent in the weekly TDA Perks’ “In the Know” email on Thursday, March 12.

ADA Has Comprehensive Information for Dentists
The American Dental Association has compiled information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that specifically applies to dentists and dental offices, such as Personal Protective Equipment, and preventing transmission in a dental setting. You can access this information at ada.org/virus.

CDC County Specific Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance can be found here. To make sure dental offices are implementing COVID-19 strategies specific to their local area, please visit the CDC for recommendations on infection control and county-specific guidance. [Note: as of March 16, 2020, there are no Texas counties included]
 
Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Guidance
Information on prevention, testing, and current Texas case count may be found here
 
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners
Healthcare personnel information may be found here
 
Other Resources
We understand there are many facets to this situation that extend beyond patient care--financial, human resources, practice management, etc. TDA is assembling resources and information to assist members in managing these decisions. If you have information you would like us to share with fellow TDA members, please send it to tda@tda.org and we will be creating a webpage for those resources. 
 
As the facts and situation around COVID-19 (coronavirus) continue to evolve, TDA will remain your trusted information resource. Continue checking your email regularly as we make new information available.
 
   
Dr. Charles W. Miller
2019-2020 TDA President