On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated quarantine guidance for those exposed to COVID-19. The Texas Department of State Health Services and Texas State Board of Dental Examiners both confirmed that Texas dentists should follow the most current guidance from the CDC on when to quarantine. This means that Texas dentists need to update their “Protocol if DHCP Suspects an Exposure to COVID-19” within each dental practice’s COVID-19 office procedures as required by the dental board’s COVID-19 emergency rule (22 Texas Administrative Code §108.7(16)).
Instead of quarantining for 14 days after exposure, the new CDC guidance includes two additional options for those without symptoms following an exposure: (1) quarantine can end on day 10 without testing, and (2) quarantine can end of day 7 after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result.
Following quarantine, DHCP should continue watching for symptoms until 14 days after exposure. If a DHCP has COVID-19 symptoms, they should not work, as stated in the dental board’s COVID-19 emergency rule.