As health care settings — which are exempted from many of the new reopening and masking guidelines — dental offices are still required to follow enhanced COVID-19 safety and masking requirements.
On June 30, Washington state entered the “Washington Ready” phase of COVID-19 reopening, which allows many sectors of public and private life to return to usual capacity and operations with some exceptions. Updated statewide facial covering requirements from the Secretary of Health also took effect.
As health care settings — which are exempted from many of the new reopening and masking guidelines — dental offices are still required to follow enhanced COVID-19 safety and masking requirements as detailed below.
Masks are Still Required in All Health Care Settings, Regardless of Vaccination Status
Under the Secretary of Health’s updated mask order, the settings in which all people, including people who are fully vaccinated, are required to wear masks include:
- child care facilities, camps, K-12 schools, and other youth settings where children are present or expected to be present;
- health care settings, in accordance with CDC health care infection prevention and control recommendations;
- correctional facilities in areas where incarcerated individuals are present or expected to be present;
- homeless shelters in areas where individuals being served are present or expected to be present;
- public transportation and transportation hubs, including airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations.
Read a press release from the Secretary of Health here and the full text of the updated mask order here.
The Department of Health has released this "When do you need your mask?" flyer, which you may find helpful to share with patients who ask about the continued masking requirements in your office.
Dental Offices Must Still Follow Proclamation 20-24.2
Health care settings, including dental offices, must continue to follow guidelines as outlined in Proclamation 20-24.2 “Reducing Restrictions on, and Safe Expansion of, Non-Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures,” which remains in effect as of June 30.
As a reminder, WSDA created a detailed summary of Proclamation 20-24.2, available for all WSDA members here.
We will continue to update members as requirements affecting health care settings are revised.
Dr. Dennis Bradshaw