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Interim Dental Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for the COVID‑19 Response – A New Paradigm

Course Number: 647

Considerations for Use of Test-based Strategies to Inform Patient Care

Consider a Test-based strategy to better inform patient care.

  • In the context of COVID‑19, asymptomatic patients are unlikely to be identified based on clinical signs and symptoms. In addition to the more stringent infection control measures discussed in this document (e.g., PPE selection, universal masking, environmental infection control measures), dental facilities may undertake pre-admission or pre-procedure testing for COVID-19 to further inform patient management.

  • Limitations of this approach should be considered, including negative results from patients during their incubation period who could become infectious later, and false negative tests depending on the test method used. A recent study determined the most accurate time to test an infected patient is 3 days after onset of symptoms, which is typically 8 days after initial exposure.30