06/12/2020 9:40:06 AM
Practices are re-opening and getting used to new recommended and required safety precautions. It’s a good time to think about this scenario—when a team member tests positive for COVID-19. There are procedures in place to prevent potentially sick employees from coming to work or beginning a shift. But there still exists the unfortunate possibility of an infected team member encountering patients. The TDA and ADA have released guidelines in the event this happens in your practice.
A summary of steps to take:
- Mandate the infected employee quarantine for 14 days and follows all medical recommendations.
- Report it to your local health department.
- Notify all patients who may have had close contact with the infected employee.
- Recommend a 14-day self-quarantine and that they contact their physician if they experience symptoms.
- “Close contact” is defined as 6 feet or less.
- The CDC has provided a sample letter here.
- Document your communication with the patient.
- Notify staff who were working with the infected employee. Recommend a 14-day self-quarantine for any staff member who may have come into close contact with the infected employee.
- Clean and disinfect the facility according to CDC guidelines for Dental Practices.
For more information, this TDA page explains how to handle a team member testing positive for COVID-19. It includes protocols, helpful resources, and a script for communicating with patients.