Letter to Membership Friday, April 3
Dear SCDA Member:
As we enter another month of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the SCDA acknowledges that we are living in unprecedented times of tremendous uncertainty. Moving forward there are still a lot of unknowns regarding this virus and the effect it will have on our profession and our businesses. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the SCDA have been hard at work this past week to bring clarity to several issues that directly affect dentistry.
  1. In a statement issued April 1, the ADA is asking that "dentists keep their offices closed to all but urgent and emergency procedures until April 30 at the earliest." You can find their entire statement here.  
  2. In addition, the ADA has released interim guidance for dentists on how to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission before, during and after treating dental emergencies. Those guidelines are very informative, so please take the time to review them. 
  3. Last week, the major news for all small businesses was the passage of the CARES Act. If you haven't already, the ADA and SCDA strongly urge you to apply immediately for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) - Section 7(b) through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Click here  to apply for the EIDL and make sure you receive an of SBA Application Number upon completion.

    There has been a lot of discussion regarding the 7(a) loan, but as of this writing, the
    application for that loan has not been posted. However, in an effort to assist you once this information is posted, now would be an extremely important time for you to stay in constant contact with your CPA, tax attorney or other financial advisor to ensure you are doing all of the right things to protect both you and your office.
  4. Last night, the Department of Labor granted the waiver to employers of less than 50 employees. Another success that the ADA and SCDA can share credit for. Those details
    can be found here.
  5. The SCDA would like to acknowledge the SC Board of Dentistry's thorough and timely response to our request to address teledentistry during the pandemic. Earlier this week, the South Carolina State Board of Dentistry issued an emergency order that allows teledentistry during this State of Emergency. You can view that order issued by the State Board here. 

    The SCDA has requested clarification from the SC Board of Dentistry regarding treating non-established patients via teledentistry. The Board of Dentistry is convening this morning via teleconference for a regularly scheduled meeting.
  6. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has established a CARE HOTLINE number (855-472-3432) which can be accessed 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please use this number if you have concerns related to exposure to COVID-19 during or after emergency treatment during this time.
In closing, as a nation, we are facing extremely challenging times. Clearly the April 30th date will cause distress for many of us. Some people will even get angry about the date. These decisions are not made lightly. They are based on an unknown future. You should anticipate that the restart date may be extended while we, as a state and a country, watch to see when the number of new cases of the Coronavirus begin to decline.
Right now, and for weeks to come, we will not be in control of many parts of our reality. That is scary and unnerving. I urge you to find ways to focus on what you can control and reach out for help if you need it. This is the time to make the preparations for your financial survival and, just as importantly, for your mental health preservation.
In response to these concerns, the ADA has resources with suggestions to help with your physical and mental well being. Find wellness resources under "Handling Stress During a Pandemic."
Julia K. Mikell, DDS 
SCDA President

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