4 tips for dentists to handle employee COVID-19 testing

The California Dental Association recently advised dentists on how to best handle procedures regarding employee COVID-19 testing and exposure.

Here are four key pieces of advice:

  1. If a dental staff member receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, they should be asked if they were in close contact with any patient or visitor two days prior to reporting symptoms or testing. Dentists should contact their local health department before they make any patients aware of the diagnoses; the health department may require dentists to disclose the information to their patients.

  2. If a dental employee experiences COVID-19 symptoms, they could be eligible for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, but only to seek a diagnosis. If they test positive or are advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine, the employee can take up to an additional two weeks of paid sick leave.

  3. Dentists can instate a policy that requires employees to complete a 14-day quarantine if they traveled outside the area. During this period, employees can use available paid sick leave, vacation time or other paid time off.

  4. If a dental employee gets tested for COVID-19 after work-related exposure to the virus, their employer should pay for the test.

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