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3.23.20: ISDS Revises Recommendation After Governor Issues “Shelter in Place” Order

Until further notice, ISDS recommends that dentists cease all in-person dental treatment except for dental emergencies.

ISDS Revises Recommendation After Governor Issues “Shelter in Place” Order 

Recognizing that the Illinois State Dental Society members needed guidance and clarity on the rapidly developing COVID-19 virus situation, on Sunday, March 15, the ISDS Executive Committee issued a recommendation for dental offices.  These primary recommendations included:

  • Treat only patients requiring emergency dental procedures.
  • Postpone elective dental treatment and procedures.
  • Preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for emergency dental situations.  This action will also preserve the limited supply of PPE so it can be used for urgent and more complex medical care that will be needed in our healthcare system.
  • Communicate the utmost importance of the health and safety of our patients, the dental team and our community in implementing these measures

ISDS recognizes that some of these recommendations may have been questioned when issued, but one week later have proven to be critically important and adopted nationwide.  All of these recommendations still especially hold true today in limiting the spread of COVID-19.  However, it appears that the original recommendation to be in effect for two weeks beginning Tuesday, March 17, through Tuesday, March 31, is no longer appropriate.

Governor JB Pritzker has been incredibly proactive in his actions to slow and put an end to this virus, and ISDS has and will support these efforts to the fullest extent.  Saturday evening, March 21, started Gov. Pritzker’s “Shelter in Place” Executive Orderthat extends through April 7, 2020.  ISDS is hopeful that dentistry in the State of Illinois will return to normalcy by April 8, but recognizes it is nearly impossible to provide a truly reliable date as circumstances are constantly changing.

As such, the Executive Committee of the Illinois State Dental Society is revising its recommendation to:

Until further notice, the Illinois State Dental Society recommends that dentists cease all in-person dental treatment except for dental emergencies. The Illinois State Dental Society also recommends that the public only seek dental care in case of dental emergencies.  

ISDS will refer to the American Dental Association’s guidance on dental emergencies when questions on dental emergencies arise.                              

ISDS encourages dentists, in possession of the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), to aid in alleviating the burden dental emergencies could cause to hospitals.  If one is unable to treat dental emergencies, ISDS advises that dentists coordinate with healthcare facilities to donate any excess PPE, collaborate care, or volunteer to support the public health crisis.    

ISDS will continue to look to Gov. Pritzker as a guide, as his administration is working closely with pertinent agencies in Illinois and nationally regarding COVID-19. ISDS will continue to offer guidance to members as conditions change.  This revised recommendation supports both the ISDS Mission Statement, and language related to dentistry in the recent “Shelter in Place” Executive Order.  Dental offices are considered an “Essential Business” allowed to remain open, and the Order indicates that, amongst other restrictions, individuals are to only leave their residence for “Essential Activities,’’ which include seeking emergency services.