If I have a patient who has confirmed that they were in a location that has been identified by a Public Health Alert AND been instructed by Public Health to self-isolate AND/OR be tested for Covid-19, can this patient be treated?
The list of locations identified by Public Health Alerts can be found at the following link: Potiential Covid-19 Exposures
The oral health regulators take direction from the CMOH when situations such as this arise.
If the patient screens positive for any of the COVID-19 risk factors, treatment should be deferred unless it is a true dental emergency. If it is not a true dental emergency, the patient should be managed pharmacologically by teledentistry until such time as their COVID-19 status is known. Patients who screen positive for symptoms and/or risk factors and are assessed and found to have a true dental emergency, should be referred to a facility that has the infrastructure to provide dental care using airborne precautions (i.e. operatories with floor to ceiling walls and doors, appropriate negative pressure ventilation, and PPE).
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.