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|ODA Action on COVID-19Friday, April 24, 2020The ODA is working for you – our member dentists. We are your advocate to regulatory authorities and to the public, and your source of reliable advice.|
In today’s update, we offer some clarity on the province’s emergency orders and the updated regulatory guidance. Also, we’ve helped you get some PPE through ODA Supply Hub, have some good news on the advocacy front and – with the help of our president – reminded patients on what constitutes a dental emergency.
On Thursday, April 23, the Ontario government extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to date until May 6, 2020. This Emergency Order extension once again includes the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings. For clarification, Ontario has been under a state of emergency since March 17 and will remain so until May 12. But any orders issued under that declaration of emergency need to be renewed separately, every two weeks.
Today, the Ontario government announced it is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. This came soon after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced further details on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses. This will no doubt be a relief to many dentists struggling to make their upcoming rent payments. We’ll review the announcements to provide you with more clarity as soon as we can. The Canadian Dental Association, the ODA’s and dentistry’s national voice, has advocated strongly for members along with other small business groups to make this announcement a reality.
Visit the Ontario government’s Newsroom for the latest announcements.
ODA Secures COVID-19 Funding Support for OHIP Dentists
Thanks to the ODA’s persistent advocacy over the past few weeks, we have secured a commitment from the Ministry of Health to include OHIP-billing dentists in their income stabilization plan. This is not only an important win for hospital dentists, it is also an acknowledgement of all dentists as essential health-care providers in the fight against COVID-19. This lays critical groundwork for our advocacy to the Ministry on the PPE issue.
Interim Guidance for Emergency Care During COVID-19
This morning, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) issued its updated guidance for dentists on the provision of emergency and urgent dental care during COVID-19. We understand that members are currently preparing for their return to practice, but it’s important to note that this interim guidance is applicable during the province’s state of emergency. We caution against making any assumption about future protocols.
Non-Essential Care Still Prohibited
The ODA is disappointed to hear that a small number of our colleagues are providing non-essential or non-emergency treatment. Given Thursday’s extension of emergency orders from the provincial government, all regulated health professionals – including dentists – are permitted to provide urgent care only. Ontario’s dentists are committed to the highest standards of patient and public safety and we know the great majority of dentists are complying with the legislative orders, but we all need to be in this together to help flatten the curve. There is no doubt that we are all concerned about the oral health of our patients and we want to alleviate their pain and discomfort as much as we can. But the pandemic is a life-and-death situation that we cannot disregard. To protect lives, all dentists should adhere to the RCDSO’s guidance on emergency and urgent care. The RCDSO has already indicated the risk of public health investigating dental offices that don’t comply.
Thanks to the ODA’s strong advocacy, the Ministry of Health has started to officially recognize dentists as essential health-care workers in the fight against COVID-19. During the crisis, we ask every dentist in Ontario to help keep up the reputation of our profession that the ODA and members have worked so hard to build. This will help us to continue to advocate for you to regulatory authorities and maintain the trust of the public.
Level 3 Masks and Gloves Available Through ODA Supply Hub
While your dental office is closed because of the pandemic, you may be thinking about your supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) when you re-open your practice. While the ODA continues to work to secure adequate PPE for dentists for the post-pandemic recovery phase, members can access some PPE through ODA Supply Hub at supplyhub.oda.ca. ODA Supply Hub PPE supplies are available through Patterson Dental. Orders can be sent to your home or office address.
To ensure fair access, members can order up to three boxes of Level 3 masks per week and five boxes of gloves per week. Please note that N95 masks are currently unavailable. Rest assured that prices have remained the same as they were before the pandemic. This offering will also be re-assessed weekly with regards to exclusions and purchase limits. Simply register for free to place an order. Already registered? Order now.
ODA in the Media
In our efforts to lessen the spread of COVID-19 and keep dental patients away from hospital emergency rooms, the ODA has been educating the public on what constitutes a dental emergency and what to expect from their dentist during the pandemic. This week, Dr. Kim Hansen appeared on Newstalk 610 and more interviews are planned for the coming weeks.
Reminder: Share Your Positive Stories!
ODA members are doing everything they can to help fight COVID-19, from treating dental emergencies to donating PPE. For the remainder of Oral Health Month, we have begun sharing these positive stories – so the public knows about your heroic efforts. If you, your dental team, or a fellow ODA member have risen to the challenge posed by COVID-19, be sure to post a picture on your practice’s social media account and include the hashtag #OHM2020 along with a brief description. We’ll try to share as many social media posts as possible, so be sure to tag the ODA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Learn more about tagging and our social media guidelines, and don’t forget to demonstrate proper social distancing and infection prevention and control in any photo you share. If you do not have a social media account, please send your photos and details to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll try to share as many photos as possible.
|Ontario Dental Association|
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416-922-3900 | 1-800-387-1393