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.
The statement reads:
Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming this risk by entering these premises.
UPDATED DENTAL RESOURCES/GUIDANCE:
- CDC Guidance for Dental Settings (updated August 4, 2020) – summary of recent changes:
- Guidance has been rearranged for clarity.
- Updated the definition of fever to either measured temperature ≥100.0°F or subjective fever to align with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.
- In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during patient encounters with patients not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, CDC recommends that dental healthcare personnel (DHCP):
- Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated.
- Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol generating procedures.
- In areas with no to minimal community transmission:
- DHCP should continue to adhere to Standard Precautions (and Transmission-Based Precautions, if required based on the suspected diagnosis).
- DHCP should wear a surgical mask, eye protection (goggles or a face shield that covers the front and sides of the face), a gown or protective clothing, and gloves during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids. Protective eyewear (e.g., safety glasses, trauma glasses) with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.
- Added language that protective eyewear (e.g., safety glasses, trauma glasses) with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.
- Included additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among DHCP and others.
- Updated ADA Return to Work Toolkit (updated July 23, 2020)
- Updated ADA PPE Billing Guidance (updated July 30, 2020)
- ADA Guidance for When a Patient Claims They Cannot Wear a Mask Due to a Disability (updated July 24, 2020)
- Updated Georgia DPH Healthcare Personnel Return to Work Guidance After COVID-19 Illness or Exposure (updated July 22, 2020)
Please contact the GDA’s General Counsel & VP of Government Affairs, Scott Lofranco, if you have any questions about the foregoing announcement.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; (404) 636-7553 x 103