Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Labor and Industry
Safety and Health Codes Board
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6/23/20  12:17 am
Commenter: Charles Jewett DDS

Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Emergency Standards and Regulations regarding Covid - 19

I support the Virginia Dental Association's request for exemption for dentistry in the proposed emergency regulations regarding Covid - 19.  Dentists in Virginia have been back at work seeing patients for comprehensive treatment for over 6 weeks. The majority of dentists are following CDC and ADA guidelines for enhanced employee training and screening, patient screening, social distancing, barriers, and aerosol reduction. I am unaware of any spread of this Corona virus resulting from dental care since March 2020. Virginia Department of Health website graphs and data show very low rates of hospitalization and death over the last 2 weeks. Since June 12th the rates show continuing declines statewide with hospitalizations of less than 9 per day and deaths of about 3 per day. These are very low rates for a population of over 8 million. It could be argued that there is no longer a Covid - 19 epidemic in Virginia.  Adding to dentistry's regulatory burden, paperwork, training, and costs will not not reduce the spread of this virus, reduce deaths, or hospitalizations. Higher costs are already being absorbed by dentists and patients, and will result in even less patients receiving needed dental care.

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