Coronavirus Updates- header for landing page

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.

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GDA Top Headlines

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

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.  

Read More

GDA Member Advisory 7.8.2020: Governor Issues New COVID-19 Executive Order

On June 29, Governor Kemp issued a new set of Executive Orders related to COVID-19. Executive Order 6.29.20.01 extends the current Public Health State of Emergency through 11:59 PM on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Read Advisory

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.


Updates to CDC Interim Guidelines and the ADA’s Response

 The CDC updated their interim guidelines last week citing two changes.

  • The 15-minute waiting time after patients prior to cleaning is now consistent with the general healthcare environmental control and based on the formula used for varying air exchanges per hour.
  • HEPA filters are described a bit more. 

Following the release of this new guidance, the ADA advises that it is still important to wait before disinfecting patient treatment rooms after aerosol-generating procedures, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently removed a recommendation calling for a 15-minute waiting period in its Guidance for Dental Settings.

Read More

ADA's Updated Third Party Payer Guidance for Coding & Billing for PPE

To assist member dentists in filing reimbursement claims for PPE, the ADA has updated its COVID-19 Coding and Billing Interim Guidance, which contains the current, PPE-related claims submission criteria for many third party insurers.

*ADA login is required.

GDA Issues Letter to Georgia Governor and State Legislature

On May 7, 2020, GDA petitioned the Georgia Governor and state legislature to grant Georgia dentists limited immunity during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Read Letter

More GDA News

Coronavirus Updates- header for landing page

Multicooker Decontamination of N95 Respirators

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is executing high-impact projects to help answer critical questions about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vital personal protective equipment such as filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) is in limited supply due to high demand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided guidance for decontamination and reuse of FFRs where shortages exist, and moist heat is one of their recommended decontamination methods. S&T has identified programmable multi-cookers with a sous vide function, or equivalent setting, as a suitable means to treat FFRs with moist heat at home. For more info, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.

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Practice Resources

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
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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. '

View Resources

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)

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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.

Learn More

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.
 
For more information about the PPP, EIDL, or other SBA loans available to you, please visit our Small Business Loan resource page or the SBA’s website.

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.

Learn More

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

SBA Resources

Streamlined SBA application available for Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

View Application

View All Small Business Resources

View

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GDA Outreach

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 fred@mag.org.

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GDIS News

​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. 

View Updates
 

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. 

Safeco Statement
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Top Headlines in the News

Coronavirus Updates- header for landing page

Multicooker Decontamination of N95 Respirators

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is executing high-impact projects to help answer critical questions about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vital personal protective equipment such as filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) is in limited supply due to high demand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided guidance for decontamination and reuse of FFRs where shortages exist, and moist heat is one of their recommended decontamination methods. S&T has identified programmable multi-cookers with a sous vide function, or equivalent setting, as a suitable means to treat FFRs with moist heat at home. For more info, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.

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