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e-Alert     May 1, 2020

Message from your President Dr. Marc Mollot

Update from the President                                                               May 1, 2020

Manitoba provincial public health authorities have recognized that the province is emerging out of the COVID-19 Pandemic Phase and into a Transition phase. The Province outlines multiple phases to re-establishing services.  In phase 1, and at the discretion of the respective regulatory bodies, a return to increased activity for ‘Therapeutic and Health Care Businesses’ such as Dentistry, becomes effective May 4th. 

The report outlines that should results of public measures during or at the end of phase 1 or any future phases not be favourable in the control of COVID-19, they will not proceed with further easing of secondary public health measures. Should results be favourable, phase 2 would begin no earlier than June 1.

Similarly, the MDA will be looking for more positive reports from public health authorities prior to further expansion of services. This expansion may or may not mirror the same dates as the provincial government phases. As we move along the coming weeks we may re-adjust our recommendations.

It is important for Manitobans to begin to access dental services for their emergent and urgent needs. The MDA is undertaking a staged approach to re-integration of dental services. Effective May 4, 2020 the provision of dentistry may now include both emergency and urgent dental care. The MDA strongly advises that the dentist exercise reasonable and prudent judgement for assessing risk in these circumstances.

As outlined in the Provincial Report, health care businesses will be required by Public Health Order to require that patients maintain a distance of at least 2 meters, except when receiving service or brief exchanges. Furthermore, businesses must limit occupancy to 50% of normal business levels or one person per 10 square meters. Combined with provision of only emergent and urgent care, dental offices will not be running at capacities of near-normal.

Given the fact that dental clinics have been largely quiet for the past several weeks and that many dental team members have been placed on various government programs, it is very reasonable that members will need time to prepare their workplaces prior to increasing levels of care. There is no requirement for this to all happen on Monday morning. It may take time for some members to re-organize and prepare prior to that change.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 is relatively new and there is an abundance of information available, little of this information is time-tested. It is not clear that complex engineering controls are appropriate for dental offices. Being that there exists such a large variance in the design and layout of each individual dental clinic, if members are considering addition of supplemental engineering controls they are encouraged to consult with an engineer or appropriate professional.

Emergency and urgent dental care should be performed in accordance to the most recent version of the Interim IPC Guidelines Related to COVID-19 Management with appropriate PPE. This Guideline can be found here.

This is a reminder to follow our e-Alert system and consult the website frequently for updates and member resources.

Thank you to all members for your continued support.

Dr. Marc Mollot
President and Board Chair
Manitoba Dental Association

April 30, 2020 – Statement on Emergency and Urgent Care Related to the COVID-19 Response Effective May 4
*Effective until midnight May 31, 2020*

April 30, 2020 – Interim IPC Guidelines Related to COVID-19 Management Effective May 4 *Effective until midnight May 31, 2020*

March 19, 2020 – MDA Release to Members Related to Media Requests

Visit our COVID-19 Web Page for additional information and resources

Shared Health Manitoba COVID-19 Screening Tool