March 16, 2020
Dear MDA members:
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and rapidly change, last night the Maine CDC and Governor Mills issued several
including the following:
"All hospital systems and health care providers across Maine postpone non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments until further notice."
At this time, the Maine Dental Association is recommending that all dental practices in Maine follow the Maine CDC and Governor Mills' recommendation to suspend non-urgent dental procedures for the next 14 days and then re-evaluate at that time.
Patients that are in pain or have infections will need your expertise, and you will need to determine how and when to see those patients.
This is guidance that we are not issuing lightly, and it is being done out of an abundance of caution during these turbulent times. As healthcare professionals, we all have a role to play in slowing the spread of Coronavirus and 'flattening the curve' in order to follow sound scientific, public health advice, to help limit infections and to slow the spread of the virus.
Just as you likely have felt, your staff is unsure about the future and they will appreciate your clarity and reassurance of what will happen to their employment status after this temporary suspension.
Your staff (and yourself depending on how you have set up your business and Unemployment Insurance) may be eligible for unemployment starting the day that you suspend your business. These employees would not need to be fired, as the bill provides the following:
"the emergency legislation submitted by Governor Mills temporarily revises eligibility requirements for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to include situations not typically covered, such as: 1) employer temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19; 2) an individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work once the quarantine is over; or 3) an individual leaves employment due to risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member. It also temporarily waives the one week waiting period for benefits so that workers may obtain benefits immediately and ensures that claims for UI will not affect an employer's experience rating."
We are planning to continue to issue email updates as new information becomes available.
Thank you for your patience.