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News — covid19

No More State Board Rule for COVID-19 Precautions: Now What Do We Do?

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.

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The Lowdown on Tuberculosis

TB is an airborne disease meaning it is spread from person-to-person by air. Dental Health Care Workers (DHCW) must be provided adequate PPE, which in this case requires the use of respirator masks for which DHCW must be fit tested annually by a qualified occupational health specialist.

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You Can't Handle the TRUTH... About N-95 vs. KN-95 Respirator Masks

I don’t understand why you keep telling us we have to implement an OSHA Respiratory Protection Program – we don’t use respirators.
  • 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).

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No More Masks - Texas Mandate Lifted

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....

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