Over the past weeks, we have seen the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba rapidly increase. Although recent changes in public health measures do not affect delivery of care in private practise dental clinics in the province, we do find ourselves amidst the third wave driven primarily by the spread of COVID-19 Variants of Concern. I have identified some key measures and resources that will guide you through our current situation in Manitoba:
The Manitoba Government announced that K-12 schools in Winnipeg and Brandon will move to remote learning effective Wednesday, May 12 until May 30. According to Education Minister Cliff Cullen, “Schools in full remote learning will be able to accommodate kindergarten to Grade 6 children of critical services workers who cannot make alternative care arrangements if they are not required to self-isolate.” This would apply to those working in Health and Health Services should they have that need. Dental personnel are consider critical services workers. Non-regulated dental personnel may required a letter from their employer to confirm that they are employed in a dental office. https://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/pubs/2020-191critical-services-worker-definition.pdf
Management of Fully Immunized Health-Care Worker:
Earlier this month Public Health also shared guidance related to Management of Fully Immunized Health-care Worker should there be an exposure. https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-oesh-screening-memo.pdf

Vaccines and Vaccination of the dental team:
Find Below the Canadian Dental Association resources related to vaccines and vaccination of the dental team. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases. The COVID-19 vaccines approved for Canada will protect us against the novel coronavirus and is an important step to safely return to a normal life. The CDA encourages Canadians, including dentists and the whole dental team, to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available to them. http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/about/covid-19/vaccines/index.asp#vaccine

As essential Health Care Providers, Dentists and their teams have been providing much needed access to care for Manitobans beginning on May 1st and throughout the pandemic response. All health care workers are eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine. Vaccines are safe and offer us hope and a pathway out of this Wave. If you have not already, please book your appointment. Book your appointment today.
Remain Diligent:
With the onset of COVID fatigue, continued careful team member screening using the most updated online version of the Shared Health Screening Tool is important. Team members should self-monitor for symptoms before reporting to work and refrain from attending the clinic if symptoms are present. https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/

Daily screening of the complete dental team is an effective way to monitor for the continued health of the team. Careful attention to appropriate PPE use is important as well as enhanced Infection Prevention and Control according to the most recent MDA Pathways document. https://files.MDAPathwayandinterimIPCguidanceCOVID19March18update.pdf
Finally, thank you again for their increased deployment and support for the vaccination campaign response. We are making a difference.
Dr. Christopher J. Cottick