Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
As indicated by Premier Kenney on April 30, 2020, “For our relaunch strategy to succeed, Albertans must be confident in their ability to go out and visit these businesses and services safely… Workers need to be comfortable in going to work.” As of May 4, 2020, dentists in Alberta will be able to provide urgent care in addition to emergency care. Dentists and the dental assistants they employ must follow the Guidelines on Emergency and Urgent Treatment. The Guidelines are updated regularly to keep patients and practitioners safe. Check often to ensure you have current information.
As an employee in Alberta, you have a right to work in an environment that is safe and healthy. You and your employer must both take reasonable steps to protect health and safety under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. You can refer to the Alberta government website for specific information and also this guidance for workplaces specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue to work with the other Alberta oral health regulators to develop informative and safe return to work guidelines for when the Alberta Relaunch Strategy permits the provision of non-urgent dental services. The return to work guidelines will reflect our mission; that we regulate our members in the public interest, promoting the delivery of safe, quality oral health care.
Collaboration is a skill that dental assistants excel at. When we distribute the return to work guidelines, we want you to become familiar with them. Please work as a team to implement the strategies.
Dental Assistants Practicing in Lloydminster
Despite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announcing that regulated health professionals may return to practice subject to approved practice guidelines provided by their respective Colleges, dental assistants who practice in the city of Lloydminster will continue to be limited to the provision of emergency/essential services until further notice. This is due to public health orders issued by Saskatchewan officials stating that Lloydminster may not reopen as part of the Phase 1 Saskatchewan Reopen plan on May 4 after a recent COVID-19 outbreak in the city.
Lloydminster is governed by the City of Lloydminster Act and a regulation called The Lloydminster Charter. The Act and Charter specifically identify that the Public Health Act of Saskatchewan applies to the whole city of Lloydminster, including the Alberta side.
When Lloydminster can reopen based on the direction of Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, as a regulated member governed by Alberta’s Health Professions Act, you must adhere to our College’s Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics and any other directions issued by our College when you are practicing on the Alberta side of the border.