Incorrect Media Coverage of Updated COVID Proclamation

Last week, several media outlets incorrectly reported that non-urgent medical and dental procedures are suspended beginning Dec. 3. WSDA would like to assure providers and patients that these reports are incorrect.

Last week, several media outlets including KING 5 News, The Seattle Times, and KUOW incorrectly reported that Gov. Inslee’s updated Proclamation 20-24.2 suspends non-urgent medical and dental procedures beginning Dec. 3. WSDA would like to assure providers and patients that these reports are incorrect; non-urgent dental procedures are not being suspended. WSDA is in contact with all of the media outlets that reported inaccurate information to have it removed and/or corrected.

As we shared with WSDA members on Nov. 25, Proclamation 20-24.2 does not enact any additional restriction or limitation on the delivery of dental care or health care more broadly. Instead, the revised Proclamation updates the requirements health care providers must follow to provide ongoing care based upon new data and resources.

The updated Proclamation lists criteria a dental office must meet to provide “non-urgent services, procedures, and surgeries” from the middle of page 4 through the top of page 6. WSDA members have access to a summary and list of resources to help meet the criteria, which they may log in to access here.

To be clear, the Governor’s Office is empowering health care providers to self-regulate capacity for care based upon parameters outlined in the Proclamation. Following WSDA’s email last Wednesday, the Governor’s Office released this statement related to Proclamation 20-24.2.

Statement to Share with Your Patients

WSDA has prepared the following statement that you may choose to share with your patients along with personalization from your practice regarding dental care in Washington:

Some of our patients may have seen recent news coverage indicating that non-urgent dental care in Washington will be suspended starting December 3. We want to inform you that these reports are incorrect. Non-urgent dental care in Washington is not being suspended.

Your safety is our foremost concern. We want to reassure you that we are following guidelines from the American Dental Association (ADA), CDC, and Washington State Department of Health to keep our patients and team healthy and safe, and that these guidelines are working. To date, according to the CDC, there has been no documented transmission of COVID-19 in a clinical dental setting.

Oral health is integral to your overall health. We look forward to safely welcoming you to our office.

SOURCE: ‘Incorrect Media Coverage of Updated COVID Proclamation’, WA State Dental Association, November 30, 2020, https://www.wsda.org/news/blog/2020/11/30/incorrect-media-coverage-of-updated-covid-proclamation