To isolate or not to isolate
By DTA | 15th September 2021 | News
Dental teams across the country remain confused or at best hesitant when it comes to the question of whether a fully vaccinated team member needs to self-isolate or not should a household member test positive for Covid.
There is no specific guidance for the dental team and the situation is currently as follows:
1. Those who are in mixed practice (i.e. have an NHS component): the additional guidance drawn up by the NHS will apply if they are living in the same household with a positive COVID-19 case. They will be asked not to come to work.
2. Those who are in fully private practice: will need to decide whether they follow the less stringent government guidance or the NHS guidance. Should they choose to follow the government guidance they will need to be able to justify their decision to attend work with a full risk assessment.
Dentistry involves being in very close contact with patients, some of whom may be from vulnerable groups, for prolonged periods of time. It makes sense then that should we choose not to isolate, a thorough risk assessment should be carried out to ensure that any benefit to patients outweighs the risk of transmitting Covid to a patient. It would be wise to have this discussion with your team, take advice from an expert, and have a definite policy drawn up and in place before the situation arises.