Published: March 16, 2020
Your dental association has been closely monitoring every development with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). NYSDA has been reviewing all the guidance and materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the daily briefings from the Governor of the State of New York, and the activities of other state dental associations and the American Dental Association (ADA). NYSDA has created its own Web page on COVID-19 and the NYSDA blog has carried daily information on what all the government sources noted above have been recommending and doing.
The COVID-19 situation in New York is one of the most serious in the nation so far. As the facts and situation around COVID-19 continue to evolve, and they do change on an almost daily basis, in step with Governor Cuomo’s recent Declaration of a State of Emergency, your NYSDA Board of Trustees is issuing the following guidance for dentists in New York. The Board notes that this guidance is not a mandate and cannot compel any dental office to take action, but is intended to help dental offices make sensible and safe decisions for the benefits of the public.
At this time, it is recommended that dental offices provide only emergency dental care for patients. Elective and non-emergent services should be postponed for a minimum of three weeks. That policy shall be revisited at that time to accommodate further developments regarding COVID-19 and further actions/recommendations from government agencies.
This is not guidance we are issuing lightly, and it is being done out of an abundance of caution during these turbulent times. As healthcare professionals, we all have a role to play in slowing the spread of the coronavirus and “flattening the curve” in order to follow sound scientific, public health advice, to help limit infections and slow the spread of the virus.
The spread of COVID-19 will be determined by our collective actions now. We believe by taking these extraordinary precautions, dentists can make a difference in helping to preserve the limited supply of personal protection equipment critical for emergency dental care and front-line healthcare personnel responding to the pandemic.
NYSDA will be providing ongoing daily guidance through www.nysdental.org/covid19 and highly recommends that all dentists check on a daily basis the updated recommendations of the New York State Department of Health at: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/providers.htm.
Board of Trustees
New York State Dental Association