How and when to notify patients of COVID-19 exposure in the dental place of work


The article-holiday surge of the omicron variant throughout California has led to an enhance in phone calls to CDA’s Practice Assist and The Dentists Insurance coverage Corporation from dental places of work that are unsure of how or if they are needed to notify individuals right after a dentist or employees member tests optimistic for COVID-19.

Here’s what you require to do if you ascertain that an infected worker has perhaps exposed sufferers to COVID-19.

If an employee reports a beneficial COVID-19 outcome, the first move is to assess no matter whether a near speak to publicity has occurred. Near make contact with is defined by Cal/OSHA as staying within just 6 ft of an contaminated human being for a cumulative whole of 15 minutes or more about a 24-hour interval irrespective of location, apart from if an unique is carrying a effectively equipped respirator this sort of as an N95.

If you’ve determined near make contact with publicity has happened, you must conduct contract tracing. Identify which clients experienced close call exposure to the worker from two times prior to the onset of the employee’s signs and symptoms or constructive check till the worker was last at the practice.

Next, you ought to quickly notify each individual person who experienced close speak to publicity and advise them to talk to with a clinical care service provider.

When notifying individuals of near get in touch with publicity, it is important to continue to keep the following in mind: 


  • As very best practice, the individual need to be notified by phone followed by an e-mail or letter. The discussion ought to be documented in the patient’s chart.
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  • You are not permitted to disclose the employee’s id, vaccination status or health details to the patient. 
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  • Propose the affected person get tested for COVID-19 at minimum 5 times after shut speak to publicity for each guidance by the California Office of Community Wellness.
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  • Remind the patient that the dental workplace follows all CDPH and CDC COVID-19 security and an infection handle treatments. CDA Follow Help has developed a letter template that dental tactics can use to advise patients of their protection precautions.
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Reporting necessities to community wellbeing division, Cal/OSHA, workers’ comp 

In addition to notifying the patient, you could also be needed to notify Cal/OSHA, your neighborhood health and fitness office or workers’ payment.

Just about every agency has its individual reporting specifications as follows:


  • Cal/OSHA: Report any really serious health issues, harm or dying of an personnel that transpired at function or in relationship with do the job in eight several hours of figuring out of the sickness, damage or demise. A really serious sickness or personal injury is categorised as inpatient hospitalization for a reason other than health-related observation or diagnostic testing.
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  • Local health division: Report to your neighborhood overall health department when an employee’s constructive prognosis is the 3rd or more positive analysis of an employee inside 14 days. 
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  • Workers’ payment: If you have 5 or far more workers, you ought to notify your workers’ compensation provider of all personnel who have described a beneficial COVID-19 test in 3 small business times of learning of the prognosis.
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The Reporting Signs or symptoms, Exposure or Beneficial Test for COVID-19: Worker Tracking Sort features phase-by-action guidance on examining near contact publicity, get in touch with tracing and reporting needs. Further methods on reporting a constructive COVID-19 examination in the dental business are out there in the CDA Observe Help Library. 

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