News — COVID-19
Is your dental office using KN-95 respirators? If yes, read on! As if keeping up with the barrage of changes in guidelines hasn’t been challenging enough throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the FDA is here to ‘help’ one more time (and you have no time to prepare unless you heeded my warning from this past Spring when I predicted this situation). The FDA announced the revocation of the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for KN-95 respirators effective July 6th, 2021. In other words you can no longer get by using KN-95s, which may not be a problem for those of you...
No More State Board Rule for COVID-19 Precautions: Now What Do We Do?
On 06/18/2021 the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) met and agreed to allow the COVID-19 Rule (officially 22 TAC 108.7(16)) expire with no replacement and the suggestion that dentists in Texas look to the CDC for continued guidance. This rule required patient screening, twice daily employee screening, use of N95/KN95 (or substantial equivalent), and so on.
A couple of weeks prior, however, OSHA announced the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address COVID-19 safety in healthcare settings. The ETS being a Standard has the effect of law and is enforceable as such. We will explore the CDC Guidelines in a moment, but first, let us discuss the ETS.
- The terminology around masks and respirators is the cause of a lot of confusion. You use N-95 masks, which you call “masks”. The N-95 mask is classified by OSHA as Face Filtering Respirators (FFR). As such, N-95 respirator masks are subject to the requirements OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (1910.134).
ICYMI - Yes, Texas Gov. Abbott lifted the mask requirement and is allowing restaurants to open 100% (effective March 10th, 2021). How does this impact you, your staff, and your practice? Very little! The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners’ COVID-19 Rule found in Rule 108.7(16) (standard of care) remains in effect until June 18th, 2021 unless or until acted upon by the Board. Considering the Board met less than two weeks ago to modify and re-affirm this rule – the requirements will likely remain in full force until they expire. You can reach the rule directly on the TSBDE website here....