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Coronavirus in Pennsylvania: What you need to know Friday

 Pennsylvania has more than 1,600 cases of the novel coronavirus and 16 people have died. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

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UPDATE 4:30 a.m.: Patients in need of emergency dental Pennsylvania News care can now go to their dentist offices during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health updated its guidelines after previously unveiling strict rules that stunned dentists in the state.

Previous guidelines included having negative pressure rooms and a particular type of hard-to-come-by masks. The rules effectively forced offices to shut down, leaving patients with emergencies stranded.

Leaders in the dental industry expressed their concerns to health officials, leading to the updated guidelines from the Department of Health.

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Pennsylvania Dental Association President Dr. Charles Incalcaterra said the following in a statement:

“Now, dentists in Pennsylvania can provide emergency dental care to patients who have been suffering with severe pain and swelling, or who have had traumatic injuries to their teeth as a result of accidents, without the requirement to use negative pressure rooms which are not available in dental offices, hospitals, public health facilities or dental schools.

“We are also pleased that patients needing life-saving medical Press Release Distribution Services In Pennsylvania procedures, such as cardiac surgery, kidney transplants, radiation and chemotherapy, can be screened for dental clearance by their dentists. We look forward to communicating regularly with the Department of Health as this crisis unfolds.”

Route dental care is still prohibited under the new guidelines, and dentists are being told to “review the guidelines for how to treat patients who are COVID-19 negative or who are not suspected of having COVID-19 and those for patients who are COVID-19 positive or suspected of having the virus.”

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