CDC Further Updates Its Infection Control Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have further updated their Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response.

The recommendation to wait 15 minutes after completion of clinical care and exit of each patient without suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to begin to clean and disinfect room surfaces has been removed to align with the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.

The time period recommended for patients to inform the dental clinic if they develop symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID-19 following a dental appointment has been changed to two days to align with the CDC’s Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure Guidance. Clarifying language has been added to the CDC’s guidelines on Engineering Controls as well.

The CDC reminds dental practices that they have unique characteristics warranting specific infection control considerations. Also, the CDC said, practices should prioritize the most critical dental services and provide care in a way that minimizes harm to patients from delaying care and harm to personnel from potential exposure to COVID-19.

Practices should proactively communicate to both personnel and patients the need for them to stay at home if sick, the CDC continued. And, practices should know the steps to take if a patient with COVID-19 symptoms enters their facility.

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