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​​​COVID-19 Update: Expansion of Dental Care in Phase 2​

Following guidance sent by​ CDSBC to registrants today about COVID-19, the BC Centre for Disease Control published a new document called “Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Community-Based Allied Health Care Providers in Clinic Settings.” This document contains BCCDC’s authoritative guidance with respect to the use of N95 masks: these are only required for aerosol generating medical procedures with patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The guidance document we distributed today (below) has been updated to reflect this change (please see section 7.b.ii: “Exposure prevention” and “9. Schedule of changes”)

As Premier Horgan has announced, next week is the start of the transition to phase 2 of the government’s COVID-19 response. This includes the expansion of community-based healthcare services, such as dentistry, under enhanced protocols.

Thank you for your patience as we awaited further direction from the Provincial Health Officer. That direction has arrived, and we are pleased to share it with you here, so that you can begin to plan how to safely resume in-person services. We are also providing specific guidance and protocols for oral health professionals to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 during emergent, essential and
non-essential care of patients.

COVID-19: Important Update from the Provincial Health Officer (May 15, 2020)

In this letter to healthcare professionals, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discusses the easing of restrictions on health care services beginning the week of May 19. She highlights the accountability of health professionals to ensure the health and safety of patients and clients, colleagues, and support staff in every healthcare setting.

Transitioning Oral Healthcare to Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Response Plan (May 15, 2020)

This interim guidance document consolidates CDSBC’s existing standards, guidance, and interim recommendations on COVID-19 with recommendations and direction from other authoritative agencies. It has been endorsed by all four oral health regulators and applies to certified dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, dental therapists, denturists and dentists.

The College expects registrants to read this guidance and follow the expectations within it as you resume the provision of dental care. It is a comprehensive document that covers topics such as ongoing pandemic best practices, personal protective equipment, and infection prevention and control principles and strategies. It replaces CDSBC’s previous guidance and expectations published prior to May 15, 2020, i.e. for phase 1 of the pandemic.

Recommended Resources for Health Professionals

The following agencies have provided specific information about COVID-19:
Please note that the material provided by these agencies is updated regularly as new information becomes available. Some guidance may not be updated to reflect Phase 2 requirements, and registrants should check the sites in the coming days.

A C​​​​areful Restart

As oral health professionals prepare to provide expanded dental care, it is critical to remember that May 19 is the beginning of a transition. This is intended to be a careful restart in keeping with the requirements of our “new normal.” CDSBC acknowledges and thanks all registrants for making practice accommodations to ensure patients receive safe and timely care during the COVID-19 pandemic.