Outcome from consultation on proposed supplementary risk management principles for oral health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Council has received an outstanding response to the consultation on a proposed supplement to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practice standard, titled: Supplementary standard - Risk management principles for oral health during the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflects the interest, complexity and significance of this standard.

COVID-19 has been a real challenge for oral health globally and will continue to be with an ever changing understanding of the virus and an ever changing virus itself. All oral health care providers must continually develop their understanding of COVID-19.

Council sincerely thanks all those who have made submissions and particularly acknowledges the high quality submissions from DHBs and practitioners in regard to care for those under 12 years old. The Council has listened to all concerns and proposals and has made significant changes to the standard as a direct result of your submissions.

In response to the main concerns raised, the Council has made the following changes to the proposed COVID-19 supplementary standard:

  • removed the moderate risk category
  • linked to the removal of moderate risk category, removed:
    • the vaccination question from the risk assessment
    • the different room and stand down requirements for multi chair clinics
  • for the low risk category, removed the requirement for a plastic apron
  • updated the patient risk assessment questions
  • referenced rapid antigen testing
  • expanded commentary on unvaccinated patients.

The outcome letter providing further details, and the final COVID-19 supplement to the IPC practice standard are now published.

Printable versions of the following, for ease of reference:

As always, the Council highly values constructive feedback and does take on-board valid comments and suggested changes from submissions. The Council believes the standard will work for all practitioners and allows practice to continue safely with COVID-19 in our communities.

Ngā mihi,

Andrew Gray (Chair) & Marie Warner (CE)