Year 2 of COVID-19

The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw billions of people get vaccinated against COVID-19 worldwide, leading to some loosening of pandemic restrictions and a limited return to more normal activities. But new variants of the virus caused surges and challenges, as the world continued to grapple with the pandemic.

February 2022

Feb. 22:
The ADA and American Dental Hygienists’ Association release updated research on COVID-19’s impact on dental hygienists as of August 2021. The research showed 75.4% of hygienists were fully vaccinated and 4.9% of hygienists who left the workforce during the pandemic still had not returned, most voluntarily.

Feb. 7:
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announces a plan to lift his universal school mask mandate March 7. Other states followed with their own announcements to lift mask mandates in schools or other indoor spaces.20220307_Covid_mask

Feb. 4:
The U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 900,000.
Feb. 1:
U.S. COVID-19 cases top 75 million.

January 2022

Jan. 31:20220307_Covid_vax
The Food and Drug Administration grants full approval for the Moderna vaccine, now marketed as Spikevax, for people 18 and older.
Jan. 17:
The ADA Health Policy Institute launches a new monthly poll to measure the economic impact of the pandemic on dentists, expanding on research conducted in 2020-21. In the first wave of the poll, dentists reported continued challenges hiring dental team members, with 73% of dentists who were recently or are currently recruiting dental hygienists indicating the process has been extremely challenging and 55% saying the same for dental assistants. Appointment schedules are 77% full, on average, nationally among dentists in private practice.

Jan. 13:
The Supreme Court blocks the COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large workplaces while upholding the mandate for workers at federally funded health care facilities. The mandate does not apply to private dental offices.

Jan. 4:
More than half of dentists say they would be willing to administer COVID-19 and flu vaccines in their practices, but only 2% are currently doing so, according to an ADA Clinical Evaluators Panel report published in the January issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association..
Jan. 3:
The U.S. records more than 1 million COVID-19 cases in a day, breaking the global record. The world sees its highest daily case totals since the start of the pandemic during the Omicron surge.

December 2021

Dec. 22:
20220307_Covid_pillsThe FDA issues an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's antiviral pill Paxlovid. The agency authorizes Merck's antiviral pill Molnupiravir the next day.
Dec. 16:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates its vaccine recommendations to indicate the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are preferred.
Dec. 1:
The ADA urges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to consider the impact the expanded COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate would have on small dental practices.

November 2021

Nov. 30:
20220307_Covid_omniA group of U.S. health agencies classifies Omicron as a variant of concern. The U.S. sees its first confirmed case of Omicron on Dec. 1, and it becomes the dominant strain by Christmas, overtaking Delta.
Nov. 22:
The cover story of the December issue of JADA reviews the history of pandemics, probable reasons for their emergence, and the COVID-19 pandemic and its possible impact on dentistry during the post-pandemic period.
Nov. 4:
OSHA issues an emergency temporary standard calling for large employers to require employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear face coverings and be tested weekly. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues a corresponding rule requiring staff at federally funded health care facilities to be fully vaccinated.

October 2021

Oct. 29:
The FDA expands its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include children aged 5-11.
Oct. 25:20220307_Covid_JADAnov
A study in the November issue of JADA finds mouthrinses can reduce SARS-CoV-2 in saliva.
Oct. 11-13:
The ADA hosts SmileCon in person in Las Vegas while also offering a virtual option for participants.

September 2021

Sept. 29:
The Health Resources and Services Administration announces an additional $25.5 billion in new funding for the fourth phase of the Provider Relief Fund.
Sept. 24:
20220307_Covid_JADAoctA study published in the October issue of JADA examines how the pandemic decreased oral health care workers’ ability and willingness to work.
Sept. 22:
The FDA authorizes a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for certain populations. The agency authorizes booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for certain populations in October and expands booster eligibility in November.

August 2021

Aug. 23:
20220307_Covid_vax2The FDA grants full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, now marketed as Comirnaty, for people 16 and older.
Aug. 2:
The CDC reports 70% of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

July 2021

July 26:
The Department of Health and Human Services releases guidance stating people experiencing “long COVID” may be protected from discrimination under federal laws.

June 2021

June 21:
OSHA issues an emergency temporary standard to protect workers in health care settings from COVID-19. Dental practices are largely exempt.
20220307_Covid_delta3June 15:
The CDC declares Delta a variant of concern. The ADA joins the CDC in continuing to recommend vaccination and masking as Delta causes a global surge of cases throughout the summer.
June 2:
The ADA urges the White House to consider the impact a potential emergency temporary standard to protect workers in health care settings from COVID-19 would have on small dental practices.
June 2:
An ADA Science & Research Institute survey finds 89.8% of dentists are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

May 2021

May 24:
A study by the ADASRI and HPI reports the cumulative COVID-19 infection rate among U.S. dentists was 2.6% as of November 2020.
May 10:
The FDA expands the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include children aged 12-15.
May 3:
The HRSA announces a program to cover the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing.

April 2021

20220307_Covid_JADA_stevie-1April 28:
The ADA receives a Silver Stevie Award from the American Business Awards for its COVID-19 response.
April 6:
The Small Business Administration raises the loan limit for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, from six months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to 24 months with a maximum loan of $500,000.

March 2021

March 25:
An ADASRI researcher publishes a study showing how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells in the mouth, possibly leading to oral symptoms, such as taste loss, dry mouth and blistering.
March 11:
HHS amends its emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to authorize additional providers, including dentists and dental students, to vaccinate patients for COVID-19 nationwide. The ADA had petitioned HHS to amend the declaration.
March 11:
The White House signs a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill aimed at helping the people and businesses nationwide devastated by the pandemic.
March 8:
The ADA launches the JADA+ COVID-19 Monograph to chronicle the experiences of the dental community during the pandemic.

February 2021

Feb. 26:
FDA issues emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
Feb. 24:
Research from ADA and American Dental Hygienists’ Association finds 3.1% of U.S. dental hygienists had contracted COVID-19 as of October 2020.
Feb. 22:
COVID-19 death toll in U.S. surpasses
Feb. 5:
20210306_News_TL_March_GKASGive Kids A Smile hosts virtual national kickoff event. Nearly 1,000 programs have signed up to provide oral health services to nearly 300,000 children in 2021. Many have modified to include enhanced safety and infections control protocols in place.

January 2021

Jan. 18:
HPI survey finds consumer confidence in returning to the dental office hits new high with 88% reporting that they have already been back or are ready to go.

December 2020

Dec. 28:
White House signs $900 billion coronavirus relief package.
Dec. 28:

CDC confirms recommendation that dentists, dental teams and dental students be in Phase 1a of state COVID-19 vaccination plans.
Dec. 18:
FDA issues emergency use authorization for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Dec. 18:

20210306_News_TL_March_KlemmodsonADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., receives COVID-19 vaccination at Tucson, Arizona, hospital where he regularly performs oral surgery. Dr. Klemmedson encourages fellow dentists to be vaccinated when they are eligible. “Within the past week, health care professionals around the country have rolled up their sleeves to receive the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Klemmedson said. “I was fortunate to be one of them.”

Dec. 15:
ADA unveils COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet.

Dec. 14:
20210304_News_TL_March_mapvaxADA officers approve vaccine strategy with three pillars — dentists getting the vaccine, dentists giving the vaccine, and dentists/ADA encouraging patients and public to be vaccinated. An area dedicated to vaccination is created on, which includes a map depicting the phase of each state’s vaccination plan in which dentists will receive the COVID-19 vaccination where determined and dentists’ ability to administer the COVID-19 vaccination by state.
Dec. 11:
FDA issues emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

November 2020

Nov. 30:
Amid autumn surge, U.S. reports over 4 million cases in November, averaging more than 100,000 new cases a day.
Nov. 20:
ADA urges CDC to prioritize vaccination of dentists and allow dentists to help vaccinate the public.

October 2020

Oct. 19:
House passes resolutions related to COVID-19 stating dentistry is essential health care and supporting vaccine administration and point-of-care testing by dentists and the expansion of practice scope during public health emergencies.
Oct. 15-19:
ADA hosts all-virtual annual meeting and House of Delegates.
Oct. 15:
20210306_News_TL_March_1percentJADA study finds COVID-19 rate among U.S. dentists in June was less than 1%.
Oct. 5:
HHS Provider Relief Fund opens for Phase 3 funding applications.
Oct. 2:
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine says dentists are essential health care providers; vaccine allocation framework reflects this designation and identifies dentists as part of priority level one vaccine recipients.

September 2020

Sept. 28:
Global COVID-19 deaths exceed
1 million.

August 2020

Aug. 12:
ADA states it "respectfully yet strongly disagrees" with WHO's Aug. 11 interim guidance recommending that "routine" dental care be delayed in certain situations because of COVID-19.

July 2020

July 27:
Board of Trustees adopts ad interim policy stating dentistry is essential health care to help guide advocacy for dental profession during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
July 10:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opens Provider Relief Fund to dentists who were ineligible in Phase 1.
July 7:
20210306_News_TL_guideAdvisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery launches Patient Return Resource Center for dentists and their teams to use when communicating with patients about what to expect when returning for in-person dental care.

June 2020

June 16:
ADA and Florida Dental Association decide not to move forward with in-person ADA FDC annual meeting in Orlando.
June 10:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal opens and begins accepting applications.
June 5:
ADA receives a first installment of 350,000 3M-made KN95 masks from national stockpile that it starts to distribute to dentists working in states where PPE is in low supply.

June 3:
ADA creates resource to help dentists manage health of their team members if they are exposed to patient who later tests positive for COVID-19 or has household member test positive.

May 2020

20210306_News_TL_ppeMay 26:
Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery releases hazard assessment guide and checklist for dental settings.

May 19:
CDC issues updated interim infection prevention and control guidance for dental settings during COVID-19 response.

April 2020

April 28:
1 million people test positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S
April 27:
New Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery develops Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit to help dentists return to more normal practice operations while protecting staff, patients and themselves from COVID-19.

April 3:
ADA Board of Trustees holds historic all-digital meeting.
April 1:
ADA issues recommendation that “dentists keep their offices closed to all but urgent and emergency procedures until April 30 at the earliest.”
April 1:
ADA releases interim guidance to minimize COVID-19 transmission risk when treating dental emergencies.


March 2020

March 27:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, becomes law. 20210306_News_TL_govThe $2 trillion stimulus package included provisions important to dentists, including Small Business Administration loans, retirement account withdrawals and student loan payments and interest deferral.
March 26:
FDI World Dental Congress cancels September event in Shanghai, China.

A First Look at Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Dental Practices
March 23:
ADA Health Policy Institute launches ongoing COVID-19 economic impact tracking poll. First survey of 19,000 dentists found 76% had closed their offices to all but emergency patients during COVID-19 pandemic.
March 19:
ADA releases guide to help dental offices address coding, billing procedures during COVID-19 outbreak.
March 18:
ADA develops definition on urgent and emergency care.
March 16:
ADA recommends dentists postpone all but urgent/emergency procedures.
March 16:
ADA turns to virtual meetings. The last in-person meeting in Chicago was the Council on Communications on March 13.
March 11:
World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic.

Feb. 29, 2020

First known U.S. death from COVID-19 is reported in Seattle area.

Jan. 29, 2020

20210304_News_TL_March_teamADA forms team comprised of scientific and public health experts and ADA staff to lead Association’s COVID-19 response.

Jan. 21, 2020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms first U.S. COVID-19 case in Washington.

Dec. 31, 2019

Chinese health officials report pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, eventually identifying a novel coronavirus.

ADA News Special Digital Feature, March 2022