Following the UK Health Security Agency’s recent update to the COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) Guidance, there has now been an important update to the COVID-19: infection prevention and control dental appendix.
The updated guidance, which was published yesterday, outlines some key changes to current working practices in dental settings.
Care pathways are no longer considered as low, medium or high risk, but instead as ‘respiratory’ and ‘non-respiratory’. Categorisation is based on a set of screening questions before a patient’s appointment. For those categorised in the respiratory pathway, transmission-based precautions (TBPs) apply in addition to the standard infection control precautions (SICPs), whereas for those categorised in the non-respiratory pathway, SICPs apply without the need for additional precautions.
Where patients are identified in the non-respiratory pathway, FFP3s/hoods and fallow time are no longer necessary when carrying out aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Patients in this category may also sit together in waiting areas provided a distance of 1 metre is maintained and increased to 2 metres where feasible.
Agilio are anticipating a further update by end of this month on the defined list of AGPs and will be updating the iComply COVID Standard Operating Procedures to reflect both of these changes in guidance.