COVID Positive Team Member: Steps to take

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:

  1. Mandate the infected employee quarantine for 14 days and follows all medical recommendations.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Clean and disinfect the facility according to CDC guidelines for Dental Practices.

Click here for an expanded 8-step guide from the ADA.

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.