I have a patient who has just returned from a region in another province within the Atlantic bubble that has been designated as a higher risk region than the rest of that province. Are we allowed to treat them?
The oral health regulators take direction from the CMOH when situations such as this arise. The CMOHs in the Atlantic Provinces are in regular contact with each other. As long as there is no community transmission of COVID-19 in the higher risk zone, then people who have been in that zone are to self-monitor their health and do the on-line assessment https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en. Restrictions on dental care are not necessary.
Hierarchy controls state the importance of pre-screening and screening. Therefore, all offices must continue to ensure patients pass the screening questions for COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 risk factors.
The importance of screening cannot be over-emphasized, and this provides a good example of why it is important to perform pre-screening (telephone screening) prior to the office visit, as well as a re-screening on the day of the appointment. Screening helps to identify patients who are possibly infected with COVID-19 before they enter a clinic, receive care and possibly transmit the virus in the process.
If during the screening process, the patient has COVID-19 symptoms or they respond “yes” to any of the risk factors, protocols in the COVID-19 Return to Work Guidelines for the Oral Health Professions of Nova Scotia (Joint RTW Guidelines) must be followed.
As with all patients, it is important to use a risk mitigation methods and risk reduction methods, including appropriate patient care decisions regarding when to use AGPs versus non-AGPs. You will find a list of Additional Considerations for all Procedures in Section 2.3 (CDHNS) and Section 1.2 (Denturists and PDBNS) that are intended to keep everyone safe while providing oral health care.