Information on COVID-19

As of July 19th, the College’s COVID-19 specific guidance for in person care has been rescinded (see the message to the membership).   

While this is an important step to reduce the burden of additional precautions on dental practices, it does not mean that dentists no longer have Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) responsibilities with respect to COVID-19. These ongoing responsibilities can broadly be categorized as follows:  

What has changed

To download a PDF copy of the chart below click here.

You will find the following acronyms throughout this chart:
  • AGP: Aerosol Generating Procedure
  • AIIR: Airborne Infection Isolation Room
  • IPAC: Infection Prevention and Control
  • PHO: Public Health Ontario
  • PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
  • RCDSO: Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
Topic Updated requirements Source document Former requirements

Patient screening

Patients are to be screened for signs and symptoms of infectious disease (including, but not limited to, COVID-19)

Dentists can determine preferred screening protocol

Results of active screening and any positive screening results are to be recorded in the patient's record

RCDSO Standard on Infection Prevention and Control, 2018

PHO: Summary of Infection Prevention and Control Key Principles for Clinical Office Practice

Rescinded

Patients must be screened using the Ministry's COVID-19 screening protocol

Signage

Signage is to be posted requesting that individuals who are ill or experiencing symptoms of any illness identify themselves to the receptionist (not specific to COVID-19)

RCDSO Standard on Infection Prevention and Control, 2018

PHO: Summary of Infection Prevention and Control Key Principles for Clinical Office Practice

Rescinded

Post signage in common areas outlining office policies for patients and visitors related to COVID-19

PPE requirements for reception / screening

Reception (not involved in preliminary screening):

No PPE requirements1

Rescinded

Minimum ASTM level 1 procedure mask

Physical barrier recommended

For staff performing preliminary screening (with or without direct patient contact) the following precautions are recommended:

Remain behind a barrier; or,

Maintain a distance of at least 2 m from the individual being screened; or,

Wear a medical mask (minimum ASTM level 1), gown, gloves and eye protection.

PHO: IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID‑19 (Oct 2022)

Rescinded

Minimum ASTM level 1 procedure mask

Physical barrier recommended

Patient masking

Patients who screen / test negative for COVID-19 are not required to wear a mask

No change

PPE requirements for the treatment of patients who screen / test negative for COVID-19

Routine practices

RCDSO Standard on Infection Prevention and Control, 2018

Rescinded

Non-AGP:

ASTM level 2 or 3 procedure/surgical mask

Gloves

Eye protection: goggles or face shield

Isolation gown (optional)

AGP:

N95 respirator (fit-tested, seal-checked), or the equivalent, as approved by Health Canada

Gloves

Eye protection: goggles or face shield

Isolation gown

Treatment of patients who screen / test positive for COVID-19

Recommend deferring care unless urgent or emergent

RCDSO Standard on Infection Prevention and Control, 2018

No change

PPE recommendations for the treatment of patients who screen / test positive for COVID-19

Upon arrival:

Provide medical mask if tolerated and not contraindicated

Maintain 2m distance

Place patient in room with door closed, where possible

PHO: IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID‑19 (Oct 2022)

Rescinded

Patient must don a mask

No change

Place patient in room with door closed, where possible

For all in-person care, including AGPs:

fit-tested, seal-checked N95 (or equivalent),

eye protection,

gown, and

gloves

PHO: IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID‑19 (Oct 2022)

No change

Use of gowns

Patients who screen / test negative for COVID-19:

Routine practices

RCDSO Standard on Infection Prevention and Control, 2018

Rescinded

Non-AGP:

Isolation gown (optional)

AGP:

Isolation gown required

Patients who screen / test positive for COVID-19:

Isolation gown recommended for in-person care

PHO: IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID‑19 (Oct 2022)

Rescinded

Isolation gowns required.

AGPs for COVID-positive patients

None

Rescinded:

Avoid AGPs

Use the lowest aerosol-generating options

AGPs must be performed in an enclosed operatory

Use rubber dam with high-volume suction

Enclosed operatories

No longer required.

PHO recommends the following for COVID-19 positive patients:

patients with suspect or confirmed COVID-19 be cared for in a single room, whenever possible;

an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) or a single room with the door closed be used for AGMPs involving patients who are suspect of confirmed Covid-19 positive.

PHO: IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID‑19 (Oct 2022)

No change

  1. Masks recommended if within 2m of a patient who has screened or tested positive for COVID-19