Standard Operating Procedure for Pre-Appointment During Covid 19 Pandemic
Patients who are confirmed or possible COVID-19 positive are deemed to be high risk and should not be examined within general dental practice.
As such it is suggested that the following questions be asked for all patients prior to booking an appointment and prior to their attendance:
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?
- Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past 10 days?
- A new persistent cough (coughing for more than an hour or more than three coughing episodes in a 24 hour period)
- A high temperature or fever
- Loss of, or altered, sense of smell or taste
- Has anyone in your household or support bubble had any of the same symptoms in the past 14 days?
- Have you been in close contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Have you been advised to self-isolate as part of the “Test, Trace and Protect” strategy?
- Have you been advised of a close contact by the StopCOVID NI App in the past 14 days?
- Have you travelled from a country outside of the Common Travel Area that is not currently on the travel exemption list within the past 14 days?
- The list of exempt countries is available at nidirect.gov.uk
- Some travellers are exempt from quarantining following international travel. A list of exempt travellers is available at gov.uk
Patients who answer “Yes” to any of the above patient screening questions the patient is deemed to be high risk and should not attend or enter the practice.
If treatment cannot be provided remotely or postponed then referral to an Urgent Dental Care centre or Dalriada Urgent Care should be considered in line with
the advice paper “Dental Care in General Dental practice and UDCs during the COVID-19 Pandemic” and correspondence from the HSCB.
Patients should be advised to follow any personal medical advice they receive. A patient is deemed to be “recovered” following their period of self-isolation as long as it has been ten days since the
onset of symptoms and they no longer have a high temperature. The cough and altered sense of smell or taste may persist in some patients despite being “recovered” and COVID-19 free.
In this case the patient is deemed to be medium risk.
If the patient with a confirmed COVID diagnosis has had at least three consecutive days without fever or respiratory symptoms and has a subsequent negative COVID-19 test the patient is deemed to be low risk.
Patients who answer “No” to all of the above patient screening questions, have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the dental appointment, and have self-isolated since the test was taken are deemed to be low risk.
Further information in regards to the case definition of COVID-19 is available at publichealth.hscni.net and check.covid-19.hscni.net