Clarification on the Fifth Revision to Public Health Order 20-29
By: Colorado Dental Association
Late last week DORA published updated guidance interpreting the fifth amended PHO 20-29.
The CDPHE document states:
“Now until September 20, 2020 (expiration of current public health order):
In alignment with CDC guidance, Public Health Order 20-29 strongly recommends during aerosol-generating procedures that dental clinical staff use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers a higher level of protection such as other disposable filtering facepiece respirators, powered air-purifying respirators or elastomeric respirators.”
“On September 21, 2020 until further notice:
Public Health Order 20-29 will require dental clinical staff to use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers a higher level of protection such as other disposable filtering facepiece respirators, powered air-purifying respirators or elastomeric respirators during aerosol-generating procedures.”
These public health order changes were made under rationale and updated guidance from the CDC.
- The MDDS along with CDA recognizes that the above requirement is unachievable for nearly all offices due to the continued shortage of legitimate N95 masks in the supply chain. A requirement of this nature has the potential to shut down several dental offices due to a PPE requirement that is more stringent than the CDC recommendations.
- Over the last few days, the CDA has repeatedly contacted CDPHE, DORA and the Governor’s office voicing strong concerns and opposition to the Sept. 21 requirement regarding masks.
- The CDA also sought clarification of the phrase, “respirator that offers a higher level of protection such as other disposable filtering facepiece respirators…” specifically asking that KN95 masks be allowed in this category. It is unclear whether this order will allow KN95 masks or other respirators with ear loops (rather than headbands for optimal seal).
- The CDA did not get a response or clarification to these questions and therefore has retained legal counsel to engage the Governor’s office this week on this matter.
- Please continue to watch your email with any updates on our efforts. If a resolution to this matter is not achieved by mid-next week, CDA will ask for your help in an advocacy campaign contacting the Governor’s office and your legislators. MDDS will send information on this as well.