March 18, 2020 | Issue 1
IDA Recommends Postponing Non-Essential Treatment for Three Weeks
The IDA recommends following the ADA guidelines that all dentists close their offices for three weeks to patients seeking elective and non-urgent care. The IDB press release from March 17 has examples of elective procedures to reschedule and other measures to decrease the potential spread of COVID-19 within our dental offices.

Over the next three weeks dentists should provide only emergency dental care and medically necessary care. This will allow us to care for our most critical patients, while also alleviating the burden that emergency dental care would put on hospitals.  

In addition, in an effort not to overburden public health dental clinics and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry or UIHC during this time, it is extremely important that all dentists continue to manage dental emergencies and urgent care patients locally.
Legal Unemployment FAQ Available
The IDA staff has received multiple unemployment questions regarding office shutdowns and slowdowns. A FAQ is now available to provide guidance with the issues offices may be facing. Please note that given these uncertain times, these answers could change as more information or new legislation becomes available. An example of the questions with the FAQ includes:

Do employees of a dental practice need to exhaust all vacation, sick leave, or personal time off (PTO) time prior to claiming unemployment benefits?

Yes, If an employer offers vacation, sick leave, or PTO time to employees, the employees must exhaust those benefits prior to claiming unemployment benefits.
Governor Announces Assistance For Those Affected By COVID-19 Related Layoffs
In a press release issued Monday, Governor Kim Reynolds announced assistance for workers and employers impacted by layoffs related to COVID-19. The guidance includes information for employees filing for unemployment insurance claims, as well as information on programs available for employers. Read More
Considerations When Preparing for a Temporary Office Closure
For those implementing a temporary closure of your practice for everything other than urgent and emergency procedures it is important to communicate this to your patients and the community. Below are some things to consider:

  1. Create a communication plan for patients stressing the importance of their safety but assuring them that you are available for emergencies if needed. Be sure to put this notice on your office voicemail, text network, website, social media accounts, and office door, etc. Click here to view a sample letter.
  2. Make an agreement with a nearby dental office to take on dental emergencies if you become unable to do so.
  3. Have remote access to your patient schedule and a way to contact patients if needed.
  4. Be sure all employees have a clear understanding of the sick leave policy and PTO benefits.
  5. Read and be familiar with your insurance policies. Do any of your plans offer coverage under these circumstances?
CDC Offers Resources for Businesses
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will work directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at:  SBA.gov/Disaster .

In addition, SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from a declared disaster.
PPE Survey
In response to COVID-19 preparedness planning efforts, the Department of Public Health is collecting information about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Each week IDPH will be sending out a survey to capture current numbers of PPE. The purpose of the survey is to review the inventories and identify any surplus personal protective equipment and supplies. IDA members are encouraged to participate in the survey on a weekly basis.
CE and Renewal Questions
The Iowa Dental Board has received questions from licensees concerned about meeting license requirements due to the cancellation of in-person educational offerings.

In a recent press release IDB stated, "Live webinars may be completed in lieu of in-person continuing education, and do not count towards self-study hours. The Board defines a live webinar as an online course that includes the involvement of an instructor and participants in real time and which allow for communication with the instructor through messaging, telephone, or other means."

In addition, IDB will make rule waivers available for licensees who may need to obtain more hours through self-study than what is permitted, due to COVID-19. We will keep our IDA members updated on this as we learn more.
Coronavirus Resource Page
A new resource page regarding coronavirus has been added to the IDA website . Information from national and local organizations is available in one place.

Additionally, the ADA has added a frequently asked questions section regarding COVID-19 to their website. In the event that your question is not currently part of the FAQ, you may contact the ADA at MSC@ada.org.

The IDA resource page will be updated with information as it becomes available. Follow IDA on Facebook for the latest information.
UI Dental College and Clinic
The UI College of Dentistry is suspending all faculty, student, and resident clinics for a three-week period ending Friday, April 3.

All elective patient care at the College of Dentistry will cease, including all outreach clinics and activities during this time period. Dental emergencies will be handled by the college to the extent possible.
Delta Dental Implements Work From Home Policy
Delta Dental of Iowa (DDIA) has implemented its work from home policy. DDIA will continue to pay claims according to their normal schedule, and customer service teams remain open. For more information, please visit their website .
Note from IDA Executive Director, Laurie Traetow:

IDA is committed to providing Iowa's dental community the most current information. Please expect to receive more communications from us over the next few weeks. We will update the resources on the IDA website as they are made available and communicate news as it happens on our Facebook page.

For us to provide you with updates via email, we must have your most current information. Please review your ADA/IDA profile information and make any necessary updates.

Due to the Iowa legislature suspending the session, there will not be an IDA Legislative Call until the legislature resumes.

Like many organizations, IDA has implemented a work from home policy. Our staff is available via phone and email to serve you. Together we will get through this!