COVID-19 UPDATE: Changes to self-isolation rules

Message from the President

As you will be aware, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Dental Council of NSW (the Council) has provided regular updates and information to dental practitioners throughout NSW in order to assist them in meeting their obligations and government requirements.

From 14 October 2022, it is no longer mandatory to self-isolate at home if you test positive to COVID-19. However, NSW Health strongly recommends that people who are sick or have tested positive to COVID-19 stay home until their symptoms have ended. It is also recommended that they do not visit high risk settings, such as hospitals, disability and aged care facilities, and that they avoid large gatherings and indoor crowded places.

Some restrictions will still apply for those high-risk settings. NSW Health advises that staff working in hospitals, disability and aged care facilities should only return to these settings after seven days, subject to their own work, health and safety assessment, and if symptom-free. There is still a requirement for masks to be worn in these high-risk settings.

Throughout the pandemic, we have all played a part in protecting ourselves and others against COVID-19 and I encourage you to continue to do this, regardless of the changes to the mandatory isolation requirements. If you or your staff have cold or flu-like symptoms, it is recommended that you stay at home and get tested for COVID-19.

We should also ensure that, within our dental practice settings, we have processes in place that ensure that staff can safely return to the workplace, and that any risk is managed under occupational health and safety frameworks.

A further change is that registration of a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) is no longer mandatory from 14 October 2022. However, NSW Health requests that people continue the practice voluntarily through Service NSW.

For further information relating to these changes and COVID-19, please visit the NSW Health website.

Clinical Associate Professor F. Shane Fryer OAM

President, Dental Council of NSW