We are writing to provide you with some updates regarding COVID-19 information. The College’s Return to Practice Guidance, updated on June 4, 2020 remains unchanged. Should you have any questions, please contact the College at QA@cdto.ca.
Risk of COVID-19 in Dental Health Care Settings
Recently, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario received new advice from PIDAC – Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee – regarding precautions when performing aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) on patients.
PIDAC is recommending that, in regions of Ontario where COVID-19 incidence is not low, that precautions for AGPs are taken as if the patient is positive for COVID-19, even when they screen negative. Currently, there is inadequate scientific research to assess the risk of AGPs in dental laboratories. We continue to recommend that when there is an option for protective measures, especially for AGPs, RDTs should take the highest level of precaution.
Modified Stage 2 Restrictions for 28 Days
The Ontario government imposed additional restrictions in the Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York regions as a result of their higher than average rates of transmission. These changes do not prohibit RDTs from providing health services, including non-essential and elective services. However, considering the above recommendations from PIDAC, RDTs should stay informed of the incidence rates of COVID-19 in their area and the areas where their cases are coming from.
COVID-19 incidence rates can be found through the local public health unit. Public Health Ontario also has a data tool that provides provincial and regional data.
COVID-19 Directive #5 Changes
Directive #5 applies to public hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and regulated health professionals employed by or working in these settings. This Directive sets requirements for areas including point-of-care risk assessments and the use, conservation and stewardship of personal protective equipment. For more information, see Directive #5 and the supporting Questions and Answers document.