This post was updated on September 24, 2020 with information from the New York State Department of Health.

A new executive order issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo answers the question: Can a dentist perform a COVID-19 test?

The answer is yes — with the right test and certification.

While there was ambiguity before, Executive Order 202.61 lists dentists among the professions that can perform COVID-19 point-of-care (POC) testing. The test must be Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waived, and the dentist must have received certification and a CLIA waiver from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

The Executive Order added the new requirement that the results of all COVID-19 POC tests be reported within three hours to NYSDOH.

If you plan to administer COVID-19 POC tests, please note the following:

  • You need to apply for a CLIA waiver, if you do not already have one.
  • You must ensure that the test used is indeed a point-of-care test and that it is on the approved list for FDA Emergency Use Authorization.
  • Finally, like other providers, you are required to follow the three-hour reporting requirement using the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS).

When administering COVID-19 tests, the new executive order requires dentists to report whether the patient attends or works in a school (of any level) and, if so, the name and location of that school. The dentist must also note the patient’s local address, if it is different from his or her permanent address. The Department of Health is in the process of updating the form with these new fields, but healthcare workers are expected to start including that information now, elsewhere on the form. Additionally, for dentists performing POC influenza tests, those results must also be reported within three hours through ECLRS.

Dentists are reminded to visit the New York State Dental Association website for up-to-date information on NYS Health Law alerts, recommendations for returning to work and more. MLMIC also encourages dental providers to monitor all COVID-19-related updates on our resources page and continue to monitor our blog for additional guidance on safely managing practices during the pandemic.