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College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario regulates the practice of dental hygiene in the interest of the overall health and safety of the public of Ontario.

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Message to Dental Hygienists of Ontario - COVID 19

Toronto | Mar 15, 2020

A Message to All Dental Hygienists in Ontario – COVID-19 Pandemic

The RCDSO has advised dentists that they strongly recommend that all non-essential and elective dental services should be suspended immediately. The CDHO has been in discussion with the RCDSO and is in full support of this action. The CDHO also strongly recommends that dental hygienists who are practice owners suspend their services immediately. Public safety is our number one concern.

The CDHO also acknowledges that dental hygiene services in a time of Pandemic are not considered emergency or essential services. In addition, many health care providers in community settings have not been able to secure a reasonable supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, gowns and hand sanitizers. These supplies are required to fully comply with the CDHO Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines. Equally important is the preservation of such supplies so that they can be available to those health care practitioners who are providing essential life-saving services. This is a socially responsible step to take.

For those dental hygienists who do not support this strong recommendation, the College will continue to enforce CDHO IPAC Guidelines. A shortage of PPE supplies is not an excuse for relaxing the IPAC protocols that are required to keep your clients protected.

We understand that this suspension may impact your employment situation or that of your staff. We recommend that you consult with your professional association, Ministry of Labour or an employment lawyer. It is our understanding that the government may be announcing a shortened period for access to employment insurance benefits in the case of work layoffs.

Neither the RCDSO nor the CDHO has the ability to shut down oral health offices. The strong recommendation to suspend non-essential services, seen to be a matter of utmost public interest and safety, depends on our registrants to act in a socially responsible manner. Dental hygienists are asked to support this directive.

Please note that the Practice Advisors are available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to answer your questions. We will be unable to help you with employment issues but welcome all other calls. Based on the volume of emails and calls to the College in the last couple of weeks, you may experience longer response times. Your patience is appreciated.

Lisa Taylor, Registrar/CEO