We continue to get inquiries from doctors and staff asking the MDA’s opinion about when doctors can officially reopen, especially when the Governor’s Order of May 3 may be different (earlier) than local ordinance dates—and if local ordinance dates supersede those of the state. These questions are outlined in the Stay Home Missouri Order FAQ, which provides under the Governor’s order, what can be done (includes medical appointments); what business are essential (includes healthcare workers); and, if your local health authority can impose more restrictive requirements than the state (yes, it can—though most have similar statements on essential activities and businesses that are allowed).
In yesterday’s eNews Update, we announced that to provide clearer guidance to doctors, this week a Missouri Dental Practice Recovery Task Force was formed. Since then, we've been asked if the MDA (or this Taskforce) will be providing a date recommendation different from state and local authorities. While we are grateful for members’ confidence in the MDA as the state oral health authority, we must reiterate that the MDA is not a regulatory or governmental body that can issue a specific mandate and thus, can only acknowledge what has been issued by state and local authorities and to share ADA and CDC recommendations for safely reopening practices.
The Missouri Dental Practice Recovery Task Force is being jointly coordinated by the state dental director and the Department of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the MDA and its members. Information we expect to come from that Taskforce includes additional guidelines for office re-opening, to protect patients and staff, as we know this is the greatest question and concern for all. This effort will be in addition to the ADA Taskforce efforts, which next week will include distribution of a Back to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit.
We will continue to work as quickly as possible and look forward to sharing additional resources next week.
Be well and take care,
MDA Executive Director