For more information about dentists administering vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit our Vaccine Resource page here.
Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate
Effective May 11, 2023, workers in health care settings will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 per the Oregon Health Authority. You can read the full OHA announcement here.
What are the latest requirements and recommendations for Oregon dental practices operating within the COVID-19 pandemic?
Many regulatory authorities have recently changed or updated their guidance and rules related to dental office requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of the latest information, current as of June 7, 2023.
Per the Oregon Health Authority, masks in healthcare facilities, including dental offices, will no longer be required beginning April 3rd, 2023. Facilities may still require masks at their own discretion. The full update is available here.
Effective April 3rd, 2023, OR-OSHA will proceed with temporary rules that coincide with the OHA’s removal of their mask mandate in healthcare settings. This includes all of OAR 437-001-0744 (Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks, including Exceptional Risk workplaces). OR-OSHA will retain a rule giving employees the choice to wear a mask if they choose (as long as the mask itself does not create a hazard). Read the full memo here.
With the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced changed guidance to help dentists determine how to best implement mask use in their offices. Dentists are still required to follow standard and transmission-based precautions when treating patients including wearing proper personal protective equipment and adhering to Occupational Safety and Health Administration workplace safety rules and state and local requirements regarding masking.
The CDC guidance provides information for dentists with questions about broader masking in health care facilities, suggesting that facilities consider the following factors:
- The types of patients the facility treats, including those who may have a higher risk for severe COVID-19
- Input from stakeholders like patients and office personnel
- Plans from other facilities with which the facility shares patients
- Available data, such as local COVID-19 incidence data
Additional information is available from ADA News.
Providers should follow best practices, take due diligence to evaluate risk, and make good faith efforts to provide adequate protection to your employees. Document, document, document your decisions!
Please note: There are additional requirements of dental offices not included here, such as infection control plans and respirator programs. This summary is intended to provide a high-level overview of recent changes and frequently asked questions. Please review the full guidance for additional details.
ADA and ODA Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources
OHA and OR-OSHA Resources
- Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Updates
- OR-OSHA Infectious Disease Rulemaking Resources
- OR-OSHA Rules - Updated June 2022
- Mask, Face Covering, and Face Shield Requirements for Health Care Offices
- OHA Health Care Offices Masking FAQ
- COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations: Clinical Care, and Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control - Updated Aug 10, 2021
- CDC Optimizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplies
- COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations: Providing Dental Services in School Settings - Updated June 30, 2021