Is the Covid pandemic really "over"?
Although President Biden announced during a 60 Minutes interview this week that "the pandemic is over", the CDC and local health authorities have not declared an end to enhanced infection control protocols which were instituted in the past two years to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Dentists and other dental professionals, including dental hygienists and registered dental assistants continue to employ best infection control practices to protect themselves and their patients.
Dental professionals continue precautions:
You have probably witnessed the increased level of infection control procedures employed in dental offices to combat the spread of Covid-19. These measures have included enhanced masking, use of face shields, office air filtration, restriction of aerosol-producing procedures, greater use of fluid-resistant gowns, peroxide pre-procedural mouth rinses, restriction of office visitors, elimination of waiting room magazines and visitors, and extensive pre-treatment health screening and temperature taking. Those procedures are not just disappearing overnight despite President Biden's declaration. Dental professionals are continuing to employ enhanced protocols to diminish the possibility of contracting Covid-19 or any other flu pathogens in the dental office setting.
Patients expected to do their part:
Along with dental staff maintaining strict infection control procedures, patients are also expected to contribute to a safe environment in the dental office. Patients should inform the office staff if they have been symptomatic, have a fever, or suspect that they have been exposed to Covid-positive individuals. Patients are also expected to follow the CDC best-practices counsel to continue wearing masks in the dental office unless being actively treated. Dental professionals continue to hone their skills at Infection Control and patients should expect to see continuing efforts by dental professionals to protect the public as the Covid-19 pandemic appears to wind down.