State extends stay at home order, order restricting dentists to emergency services only remains in effect

The state of Ohio has extended its stay at home order to May 1. The first stay at home order, which went into effect on March 23, 2020 is set to expire on April 6. This new order will effectively extend the stay at home directive until May 1, 2020. You can read the new stay at home order here.
Just like the original stay at home order, the new order signed by Director of the Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton states that “all individuals currently living within the State of Ohio are ordered to stay home or at their place of residence except as allowed in this order.” Essential Businesses are exempted from the stay at home order and dental offices are included in the definition of Essential Businesses.
It is important for dentists to remember that they are also bound by a separate order – the state’s order directing that “all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize PPE should not be conducted.” The definition of nonessential includes “a procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of patients,” including the “risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms (time sensitive).” The order to delay nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures went into effect on March 18, 2020, and remains in effect “until the State of Emergency declared by the Governor no longer exists, or the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies” the order. You can read the order directing delay of all non-essential or elective procedures here. The ODA will notify members of any updates to this order.
Immediately following issuance of the order to delay all nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures, the Ohio State Dental Board issued a statement stressing the importance for all dental practitioners to defer all non-essential & elective procedures. The OSDB indicated that “Only patients that need emergency dental services should be seen and treated. The order seeks to preserve the availability of PPEs at this critical period and to prevent inadvertent spread of the coronavirus. Dentists should also remember that they are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus due to the aerosol created from dental procedures. We strongly advise all dentists and dental office personnel to practice utmost caution and be prudent in their selection of emergency cases that need care.”
Bottom Line: The new stay at home order coupled with the order requiring the delay of all non–essential health care procedures essentially means that Ohio dentists and their staff may still only go to the office for the purpose of providing emergency services for their patients, and that patients may leave their homes or residences in order to receive emergency dental procedures and surgeries.
COVID-19 resources for dentists
Click here to view current and updated information and resources about the coronavirus for dental offices in Ohio.
The American Dental Association also has many resources available for dentists about COVID-19 that can be found by clicking here.
When looking through these resources please understand that this is not business or legal advice. The goal of this communication is to give members resources to ensure that they are prepared when talking with their personal human resources staff, attorney or accountant.