As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in the state of Georgia, it is important to take extra precautions during this time to protect you, your patients, and staff. GDA is working diligently with the CDC, ADA, and Georgia Department of Public Health to stay on top of the issue to provide you with access to the most up-to-date information. Below, you can find links to help you stay informed on the status of COVID-19 here in Georgia and resources to help you prevent the spread of the virus.
We will continue to provide you with important updates and information through our communications channels. Again, we ask you to read all communications from the GDA and ADA.
GDA Top Headlines
Georgia Board of Dentistry Update for Dentists and Dental Hygienists Seeking Licensure
On Friday, August 14, the Georgia Board of Dentistry held its monthly meeting via conference call. Regarding applicants for dental licensure who have been unable to take CRDTS due to COVID-19, the Georgia Board of Dentistry (the “BOD”) has been actively engaged in trying to assist recent graduates and dentists who have relocated or wish to return to Georgia. In response to concerns received from the GDA and the public, and in conjunction with an Executive Order issued by Gov. Kemp on August 15, the BOD established 2 temporary pathways for licensure.
COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Underway in Georgia – Volunteer Participants Requested for Moderna’s mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Clinical Vaccine Trials, The COVE Study, in Georgia
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: THIS ANNOUNCMENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. NEITHER THE GDA NOR THE ADA ENDORSES THIS STUDY OR OTHERWISE RECOMMENDS/REQUIRES THAT MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN THE CLINICAL TRIALS. PARTICIPATION IN THE STUDY IS STRICTLY VOLUNTARY.
Clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine currently under development by Moderna are currently underway in Georgia. Due to their high occupational exposure risk, volunteers from the dental profession are being asked to participate in the study, which is strictly voluntary in nature. For more details on the study and to register as a participant, please visit: https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/.
GDA Member Alert – COVID-19 Immunity Bill Signed Into Law With Updated CDC/ADA/DPH Guidance 08/06/2020
On August 6, 2020, Governor Kemp signed SB 359, the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act, into law. It provides healthcare providers (including dentists, their staff, and their practices) with limited immunity from civil liability for COVID-19 related legal claims (e.g., transmission, infection, exposure or potential exposure, etc.) unless the claimant proves gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm.
The immunity law also references the posting of the following written statement/sign at a point of entry to the premises in at least one-inch Arial font placed apart from any other text.
Georgia Dental Association Responds to World Health Organization Recommendation: Dentistry is Essential Health Care
The Georgia Dental Association respectfully yet strongly disagrees with the World Health Organization’s recommendation to delay “routine” dental care in certain situations due to COVID-19.
Read the Statement
Georgia Department of Public Health Implements Contact Tracing Program to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
The Georgia Department of Public Health is implementing a contact tracing program called Healthy Georgia Collaborative to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of the program is to manage the amount of people who have been exposed to the disease and to limit further exposure. The process starts when a confirmed COVID-19 case is reported to the Department of Public Health (DPH). DPH then identifies and reaches out via call or text to those individuals who have come into close contact with the confirmed case to assess and manage any symptoms due to exposure. Exposed individuals are recommended to isolate themselves for fourteen (14) days while DPH monitors their symptoms. All information collected is provided voluntarily and will be kept confidential according to HIPPA standards. For more information, please view the resources below.
More GDA News
ADA Guidance on What Constitutes as a Dental Emergency
Read ADA's guidance on what constitutes as a dental emergency.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency
Considerations for Reopening Dental Offices
Navigating your return to dental practices will be filled with many challenges. Fully understanding the challenges of practicing within a world where COVID-19 exists but a vaccine does not is paramount. In an effort to flesh out the risks this virus presents to the practice of dentistry as well as potential clinical initiatives to mitigate those risks, the GDA has created a resource page to help throughout this process. '
Member Resource: Hazard Assessment Guide and Checklist
The ADA Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery has released a hazard assessment guide and checklist to evaluate COVID-19 transmission risks in your practice.
Get the Guide
(member login required)
Small Business Resources
Attention: GDA Members Who are In-Network Dental Dental Providers
Delta Dental of California, its affiliate companies, and Lendeavor are offering $200 million through a loan assistance program to provide economic assistance and post-COVID-19 pandemic relief for dentists who are in-network Delta Dental providers in 15 states, including Georgia.
Additional Funding Provided for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
April 27, 2020
On Friday, April 24th, President Trump signed The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a 4th stimulus package of $484 billion with a large portion providing additional funding for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to assist small businesses, including dental practices.
This package includes:
- $310 billion of new funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $60 billion in funding going specifically to small lenders, which is designed to better serve smaller businesses
- $60 billion of new funds for loans and grants for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
According to the SBA and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, new applications for the PPP will be accepted from approved lenders on behalf of borrowers starting on Monday, April 27th at 10:30 a.m. If you have already applied for the PPP loan but did not receive funding the first time, you may not have to reapply again. The SBA and U.S. Department of Treasury are encouraging lenders to process loan applications that were previously submitted. However, you should confirm directly with your lender as soon as possible as it is expected this funding will run out quickly.
Paycheck Protection Program Application is Now Open!
The Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable SBA loans to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rents, and utility costs and provides a way to keep employees during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Applications for small businesses and sole proprietorships open today. To access the application, please click the link below.
SBA Releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
The Small Business Administration (SBA) released the application borrowers who received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan must use to determine the amount of the loan that may be forgiven by their lender, including the expenses used for payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities that were spent within the 8-week period after receiving the loan. For access to the form along with detailed instructions on how to fill out the form, please click here:
Download the application
Streamlined SBA application available for Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
View All Small Business Resources
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SERVGA AND MAG MEDICAL RESPONSE CORPS
The GDA has been in communication with the Georgia Department of Public Health’s SERVGA program and the Medical Association of Georgia’s Medical Response Corps (MAG MRC) to discuss ways in which dentists can partner with other healthcare providers to help during the COVID-19 crisis. On behalf of the Georgia Dental Association and over 3,600 member dentists in Georgia, we ask that you consider volunteering.
- There are multiple ways for you to assist in this crisis, whether through telehealth or clinical field assignments. Assignments are not necessarily dental in nature.
- Both liability and worker’s compensation protection are provided to volunteers.
- Registration with SERVGA provides liability protection through Georgia’s Good Samaritan laws and related Declared Emergency statutes.
- As approved MAG MRC volunteers, you will also become temporary members in the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) providing workers compensation protection.
If you would like to volunteer, please complete the following steps:
- If you are not already registered with SERVGA, go to https://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-responds and register, selecting MAG MRC as the organization you want to affiliate with.
- Go to https://hipaa.jotform.com/200842998646065, complete and submit the questionnaire. This information is necessary for registration with GSDF and to provide for your own protection. Information submitted resides on a HIPPA approved server.
- Go to https://www.magmrc.org/waivers-and-forms to complete and submit necessary MAG MRC forms.
If you have questions, please contact Fred Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2020 Health Insurance Premium Update
Your GDIS team is working diligently to stay on top of insurance issues related to COVID-19, and collaborating with our partners to provide you with resources to help you during this challenging time. Please make note of the following updates to your health insurance plan.
A Message from Safeco
"Taking care of our customers, employees and agents is a top priority for Safeco. We recognize the uncertainty and financial challenges many of our joint customers are facing as the nation bands together to slow the spread of the coronavirus. To help Safeco customers, we have taken the following actions." To read the entire statement, please click the button below.
Top Headlines in the News