PSOMS Member Alert: COVID-19 Update 3/27/2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) dental guidelines are now official and a copy is attached for your convenience and review. While we applaud the PADOH is taking our concerns into consideration, the wording of the guidelines leaves open potential for continued spread of COVID-19. The statement “Normal dental urgent and emergency procedures can be followed for individuals who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.” It is troubling that this may embolden some dental practitioners to treat patients without the appropriate recommended PPE. This will potentially place the practitioner, the staff, the patient, and the rest of the community at risk for contagion. We are all fully aware of the economic hardships that this crisis is causing all of us and all of us have to work together to fight it. I strongly advise you to use your best judgement and appropriate PPE (N95, face shields, etc.) in treating any urgent and emergent patient during this crisis. I would recommend you view CDC guideline for Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE and Equipment (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html).
Joseph E. Cillo Jr., DMD, MPH, PhD, FACS
President, Pennsylvania Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons