corona

Hi, everyone!

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since we closed our offices to routine dentistry. As difficult as it has been, I hope that everyone has taken advantage of the extra time to spend with family and has enjoyed a break from normal routine. Between Nerf battles and board games and walks in the neighborhood, J.J. and I have certainly enjoyed the extended time with our kids. Of course, we are all anxious to get back to treating patients again, and I just wanted to share with you some ADA and DSDS updates to help us reach that goal in the safest possible manner.

  1. ADA Back-to-Work Task Force: As mentioned in previous messages, the ADA has established a task force to assist in office recovery and return-to-work procedures. They released the first set of interim recommendations earlier this week. The information is fairly comprehensive and is a good starting point to get offices prepared to reopen.

    https://www.ada.org/~/media/CPS/Files/COVID/ADA_COVID_Int_Guidance_Treat_Pts.pdf?utm_source=adaorg&utm_medium=covi%20d-resources-lp&utm_content=cv-pm-ebd-interim-response&utm_campaign=covid-19

  2. DSDS COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee: In order to enhance the ADA’s Task Force findings, the DSDS formed an Ad Hoc Committee to the Executive Council last week. We invited interested members, as well as interested members from the Delaware Dental Hygienists’ Association, to join. We formed 5 work groups, each consisting of 4-6 dentists and 1-2 hygienists. Each group was assigned a group leader and an Executive Council representative. Each group was assigned a specific task, and they have all been meeting by Zoom this week to accomplish their tasks. The group leaders will be meeting with the Executive Council this Friday to review their findings. I will update you all shortly thereafter.
  3. Other ADA Updates: The information on the various loans and tax credits available to us is constantly being updated, but this is the most current information as of Wednesday, 4/8/2020.

    1. Legislative updates: Congress is working on a package to put more money into the EIDL and PPP loan programs: another $370 4/23/1billion for the PPP ($250 billion will be sent to the same banks that administered the first round of PPP loans, and the rest to some smaller community banks); another $10 billion into the EIDL grant program; another $50 billion into the EIDL loan program. **The ADA is advising those who already applied for the PPP loan but didn’t get it because the funds ran out to go back to the same bank and ask them to be first in line when the additional funds become available**
    2. PPE availability: FEMA has control over incoming PPE from 2 main sources: 3M here in the U.S. and some foreign companies, which anticipate producing 120-150 million masks/month by July. The ADA is pushing to get dentists access to this PPE.
    3. Sterilization of N95 masks: A company in Ohio has been given approval to sterilize N95 masks, but, unfortunately, their machines are only being given to the medical field. There is no FDA-approved method to sterilize N95 masks in the dental office at this time.
    4. COVID testing: There has been a lot of talk about dentists having access to COVID tests in their offices. The ADA has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to allow dentists to administer the tests, but, unfortunately, COVID tests are not available to dentists at this time.
    5. COVID-specific patient waivers and informed consent forms: Some dental malpractice carriers are requiring that these be signed by all patients treated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ADA is advising that we all consult our malpractice carriers to find out their individual requirements.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions (cathyharrisdmd@hotmail.com). We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to provide you all with the latest and most pertinent information you need to get through this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Dr. Cath Harris

Cathy Harris, DMD
DSDS President

 
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Christiana Executive Campus
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Newark, Delaware 19713
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