UPDATES on COVID-19
Report a COVID-19 Related Concern
Please use this link to report a concern related to the practice of dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once submitted, the concern will be raised, with the compliance team, to determine whether or not the licensee is committing any conduct or practice that constitutes a danger to the health, welfare or safety of the patient or the public in spite of the Governor's Executive Orders. Please note that not all complaints will merit an investigation and not all investigations warrant discipline even though the complainant's perception is that it should.
Register as a Volunteer Health Professional for a Public Health Emergency
The Board staff has fielded numerous phone calls and emails from our healthcare professionals who are interested in volunteering for the COVID-19 Response. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has recently responded and needs emergency response volunteers to call upon during a time of need. The knowledge and skills you have can help make a difference during this or any disaster. The first step in volunteering is to register with the Arizona Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (AZ-ESAR-VHP or https://esar-vhp.health.azdhs.gov/). Once registered, request membership into the COVID-19 Response or other categories of interest. You can also get involved with opportunities by connecting with your local medical reserve corps by visiting https://mrc.hhs.gov/FindMRC.
Additionally, if a healthcare professional wishes to donate any medical supplies, including PPE, all items can be donated directly to their local county health departments or healthcare facilities. This would likely be the quickest way for the items to be utilized.
Governor Ducey Announces Latest COVID-19 Actions
Governor Ducey announces and issues an Executive Order that halts all elective surgeries in the state of Arizona to free up medical resources and maintain the capacity for hospitals and providers to continue offering vital services. The Executive Order includes dental surgeries.
Governor Ducey announces ArizonaTogether.org - a COVID-19 information and resources website - update March 31, 2020
Governor Ducey latest Executive Order Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected - updated March 30, 2020
Governor Ducey issued another Executive Order that eases several burdens regarding licensure, including, but not limited to: extending expiration dates of licenses expiring, suspending rules that limit the amount of continuing education hours you can take online and deferring continuing education. - updated March 26, 2020
Please click here for the newest information coming from Governor Ducey's office. - updated March 25, 2020
Governor Ducey issues Executive Order Prohibiting the Closure of Essential Services. - updated March 23, 2020
This will help keep critical personal protective equipment (PPE) available for the fight against COVID-19.
CDC Recommendation: Postpone Non-Urgent Dental Procedures, Surgeries, and Visits - updated March 20, 2020
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency - American Dental Association
Arizona Dental Associations' resources regarding COVID-19, including the donation of PPE equipment.
Arizona State Board Dental Examiners’ COVID-19 Statement:
As the facts and situation around COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to evolve, the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners is requesting the cooperation of all Arizona dental licensees and is issuing the following guidance below. This recommendation is being made after careful deliberation and in consultation with state and national public health experts, and in line with our mission to protect the public.
The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners supports the American Dental Association’s (“ADA”) recommendation(s). To quote the ADA, “As healthcare professionals, it is up to dentists to make well-informed decisions about their patients and practices.” As always, the Board hopes and urges its licensees to continue to be available as needed for essential and/or emergency care and services, but to take appropriate and enhanced precautionary measures for patient safety, as well as the safety of their staffs and themselves.
The Board does not make this request lightly, but out of an abundance of caution during this historic public health emergency. As health care professionals, we all have a role to play in "flattening the curve" in order to follow sound, scientific public health advice to help limit infections and slow the spread of the virus.
Our collective actions now will determine the spread of COVID-19. We believe by taking these extraordinary precautions, dental practitioners can make a difference in helping to preserve the limited supply of personal protective equipment critical for emergency dental care and frontline health care personnel responding to the pandemic. We recognize the gravity of these extreme measures and are sensitive to the economic impact of such actions. Rest assured that the Board will advocate on behalf of all dental licensees in Arizona for economic relief packages.
We understand you will have questions about what to do next following this announcement. As licensed dental practitioners we urge you to do what is best for the communities you serve, including your staff and your patients. For the most up-to-date information and support, continue checking this webpage.
In addition, the Board Recommends the following protocols:
Patients should be screened for active disease prior to providing dental care in the office. Please take note of:
To reduce the production of aerosols during dental treatment, which is also advised during this time of increased transmissibility:
- Avoid or minimize operations that can produce droplets or aerosols; use rubber dams as much as possible.
- Rinse the oral cavity slowly, avoiding unnecessary splatter.
- Use high-speed evacuation for all dental procedures producing an aerosol.
- Have patient use an antimicrobial rinse before starting a dental procedure; ADA suggests using 1% hydrogen peroxide.
- Avoid or minimize procedures that may induce coughing, such as taking routine intraoral X-rays.
Interim CDC guidance for businesses and employers recommends that:
- Employers encourage employees who report symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home and not return to work until they are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever relieving or symptom altering medications.
- If an employee appears to be sick upon arrival to work, they should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.
- Employees cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Employees wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.
- Clean and disinfect public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs and bathrooms.
CDC recommends healthcare facilities, including dental offices, screen patients before
proceeding with an appointment. Information to take note of:
- Any individual who exhibits or reports signs of acute respiratory illness such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath.
- Recent travel to any locations that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19. Verify when the patient returned to the United States. If the patient reports that at least two weeks have passed since their return from one of the identified regions and no symptoms have presented, the dental office can proceed with the appointment. When local, state or federal public health officials declare the disease is at the community level, screening for travel is not necessary.
- Close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.
Lastly, and for some guidance in how your office(s) should protect the public exposure and its staff, you may want to consider requesting your patients to complete a Medical History Addendum. Click here for an example.