COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

In this unprecedented health crisis, TDIC is making every effort to ease dentists’ burdens and provide useful information available to help guide them.

Below are some resources to better serve policyholders during this difficult and uncertain time.

TDIC will continue to provide information and updates about COVID-19 on this page. Your state dental association may also provide trusted guidance and resources.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

TDIC continues to receive inquiries from TDIC policyholders on how to assess and manage the risk of potential exposure.

We learned that a patient that they tested positive for COVID-19. They believe they might have gotten COVID-19 prior to their dental visit. Do I need to close my office and have my employees tested?

First, it may not be necessary to close your practice. As long as you and your employees wore PPE correctly and appropriately and avoided “close contact” (within 6 feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, without wearing PPE that is NIOSH or CDC approved (i.e., not cloth masks) with individuals, you are at low risk of contracting COVID-19. However, if you desire to get COVID-19 tests completed for you and your staff and want to close your facility, you should understand your obligations to continue their pay and return-to-work guidance. An employer is prohibited by Cal/OSHA from requiring a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to work. During the time of the employer-directed closure, employees may not lose pay or benefits. The employer may use unused employer-provided paid sick leave (such as Families First Coronavirus Response Act). The requirement that employers provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA expired on Dec. 31, 2020, but has been extended until March 31 on a voluntary basis. Please visit the Wage and Hour Division’s FFCRA Questions and Answers page to learn more about workers’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities after this date.

CDA’s flowcharts, tutorial and other resources can help guide you on managing COVID-19 exposures in the workplace.

My employees have to wear PPE on a continual basis and some of my employees have expressed that wearing PPE for long periods makes them uncomfortable. Do I need to file a workers’ compensation claim?

If an employee complains of pain, strain or discomfort due to wearing PPE, initiate a discussion with your employee and determine what may be causing these issues to ensure the schedule is allowing for, and they are taking, their mandatory meal and rest breaks. Make sure that your employees are staying safe during their breaks by staggering their breaks or closing your break room if it is not possible to maintain social distancing of 6 feet when more than one individual is in the room.

You may also consider alternatives, such as allowing short breaks in between seeing patients or even working with the employee to determine if there is alternative PPE that is suitable. Some individuals may find working with a powered air purifying respirator more comfortable than a tight-fitting respirator.

If your employee continues to have issues with wearing PPE or if you need additional information on employer best practices, call the Risk Management Advice Line at 800.733.0633.

Lastly, inform your employees of their right to file a workers’ compensation claim and provide them with a workers’ compensation DWC 1 claim form should they decide to seek treatment.

Where should I go if I need additional information?

Dentists should request guidance from the local health department in the county where their office operates. Each county has different requirements for businesses as to phases of reopening, safety practices and protocols and mandatory employer postings and written notices. Should you have any additional questions related to COVID-19 and employment best practices, please contact our Risk Management Advice Line at 800.733.0633.

What are the California workers’ compensation reporting requirements for an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Under Senate bill 1159, employers are responsible for reporting information about positive COVID-19 tests to their workers’ compensation claims administrator within specified time frames and on an ongoing basis for a long as the law is in effect. All employee positive COVID-19 results must be reported regardless of whether the employer learns or believes that the employee contracted the virus from work or outside of the workplace.

Specifically, employers must:

  • Retrospectively report by Oct. 29 employee positive COVID-19 tests that occurred between July 6 and Sept. 17.
  • Report within three business days any employee positive COVID-19 result that occurred on Sept. 18 and until Jan. 2, 2023.

The law states that “when an employer knows or reasonably should know that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the employer shall report to their claims administrator” by email or fax within three days the following:

  • An employee tested positive for COVID-19 (via the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test only).
  • The date the employee tested positive (date specimen was collected for testing).
  • The address or addresses of the employee’s place of employment during the 14 days preceding the date the employee tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The highest number of employees who reported to work at the employee’s specific place of employment in the 45-day period preceding the last day the employee worked at each specific place of employment.

What are the advantages of teledentistry?

Virtual visits may free patients and the practice from worries about the spread of infection. Offering a telehealth consultation can allow the dentist to address urgent patient concerns and allow triage of patients to appropriate emergency dental services, keeping patients out of the emergency room due to dental emergencies.

Contact TDIC

[email protected]

For policyholders in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Tennessee or Washington, call 800.452.0504.

TDIC Endorsed Brokers

TDIC Insurance Solutions
California, Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota and Nevada
Email: [email protected]

Montana, Oregon and Tennessee
Phone: 800.452.0504
Email: [email protected]

Conrad-Houston Insurance (Alaska)
Phone: 907.276.7667

Idaho Dentist Insurance Agency (IDIA)
Phone: 208.371.3052
Email: [email protected]

Jerry Hay, Inc. (Hawaii)
Phone: 808.521.1841

Mid-Atlantic Insurance Resources (New Jersey)
Phone: 877.476.4588
Email: [email protected]

Pennsylvania Dental Association Insurance Services (PDAIS)
Phone: 717.234.6530

Washington State Dentists’ Insurance Agency (WDIA)
Phone: 800.282.9342