This week, infection control and prevention expert Jackie Dorst, BS, RDH, provides a readout of the CDC’s first dental-industry focused COCA (Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity) webinar held on June 3. The webinar came in response to questions raised about the CDC’s updated guidance for dental settings amid the COVID-19 pandemic released on May 19

Dorst dissects the clarifications the CDC provided on the following topics: 

  • Orthodontic staff leave the room empty for 15 minutes after aerosol-generating procedures before disinfecting between patients. She talks about the reasoning behind this recommendation and whether this means the entire open bay needs to be vacated during this 15 minute period. 
  • Orthodontic staff can use a surgical mask and face shield in lieu of a N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedures with non-COVID-19 infected patients. Dorst talks through the CDC’s clarification on this issue and discusses the CDC’s guidance on avoiding price gauging when purchasing N95 and KN95 masks. 
  • Orthodontic staff pay attention to the MERV rating on their air purifiers. She explains why this rating is important and the guidance the CDC experts provided on just where to locate that air purifier in the clinic area. OP