UW School of Dentistry

Important notice to unvaccinated patients

No COVID testing will be required

On Jan. 6, we announced a change in our treatment policy for unvaccinated patients. These patients would now have to submit a negative COVID-19 test from a medical testing facility – not a rapid at-home test – no more than 48 hours before an appointment. Otherwise, their treatment would be delayed.

However, we also recognize that Seattle-area testing facilities have been pushed to their limit. Getting a test result within this 48-hour window is more difficult than ever.

In addition, we also know that the omicron variant of COVID-19 produces infections faster than any previous variant. Even a negative test cannot guarantee that a patient has not developed an infection between the time of the test and the dental appointment. On top of that, omicron can infect people regardless of their vaccination status.

Therefore, we are dropping the testing requirement for unvaccinated patients. You are welcome to schedule an appointment for any treatment regardless of your vaccination status.

However, we still urge unvaccinated people to get their COVID-19 shots, including a booster if possible. While the vaccines may not prevent a COVID-19 infection, they drastically reduce your chance of death or the need for hospitalization.

We understand how confusing and frustrating this may be. We are operating in a rapidly changing pandemic environment, and we are responding as best we can. Our biggest concern remains your health, and we also want to protect the health of our own dental students, faculty, and staff.

Thank you again for your patience as we continue to deal with the challenges of the pandemic.