This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure and transmission of the COVID-19 for both patients and staff at Clements Counselling. I will identify the actions of staff and clients that will be implemented and committed to in order to resume clinical practice as of May 20, 2020. This policy is not meant to supersede guidelines/policies placed on clinicians by their respective governing bodies or the Province of British Columbia. This document will be in effect until further notice.
Covid Screening Questions
1.) Do you have any symptoms such as cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing or any other symptoms of illness?
2.) Have you traveled recently outside of Canada?
3.) Have you been in contact with any individuals with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19
The overall aim of these protocols is to reduce potential coronavirus transmission by:
· Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of COVID-19 related illness in staff, and clients.
· Following social distancing guidelines and reducing all physical, non-treatment related interactions between all people within the practice environment
· Hand hygiene requirements
· Avoiding face touching in the office
· Enhanced cleaning protocols
· Following recommendations and guidelines produced by the BCCDC, Province of British Columbia, BC College of Social Workers and WorkSafe BC
It will be the official policy of the office that NO STAFF OR CLIENTS enter the office if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, even if symptoms are thought to be mild or the result of a non-COVID related illness. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath, sore throat/pain with swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, chest pain and/or headaches.
1.) Self Assessment for Symptoms of COVID-19 for Staff:
· Staff will complete a COVID Self Assessment each day that they are scheduled to enter the office.
· The screening is modelled off of BC COVID-19 Symptom Self- Assessment Tool (https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en)
· Should staff have any symptoms of COVID-19, or any other illness, they are NOT TO attend or enter the office and stay home.
· For staff required to stay home due to illness, they will be cleared to return to work after EITHER: (a.) self isolation for a 14 day period, or (b.) receiving documentation of an official negative COVID test result, and if negative, will be asked to return to work once they are no longer experiencing any symptoms of illness.
2.) COVID-19 Screening Procedures for Patients:
Any client presenting to the clinic for treatment will undergo the following screening protocols:
· The COVID-Screening Questions (Appendix 1) will be posted on the office door.
· Upon initial arrival to the office, patients will be presented with a large, sign that very clearly asks patients DO NOT ENTER the office if ANY of the COVID screening questions applies to them (as per Appendix 1).
Note: High risk patients include:
· The elderly
· Those living in nursing homes or long term care facilities
· Those with underlying medical conditions (which may include): respiratory issues, chronic lung disease or asthma, serious heart conditions, people who are immunocompromised, severe obesity, diabetes, kidney or liver disease (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher- risk.html)
· It will be the responsibility of both the patient and the staff to assess the relative risk/benefit for each individual case. Ultimately, it will be the decision of staff to decide if they choose to provide care to an individual patient that is considered to be of high risk. These patients may also be scheduled first thing in the morning in an effort to reduce exposure to other patients.
· If a patient arrives for an appointment and is clearly ill, or tells staff that they are ill, the staff reserves the right to refuse care.
3.) Patient Obligations:
We acknowledge that patient understanding and consideration will be an important component for a successful return-to-work strategy.
a.) Arrive ON TIME for their scheduled appointments.
4.) Missed and No-Show Appointments:
· In order to comply with social distancing measures, and guidelines set out by the College of Social Workers of BC, our office will be running reduced schedules and limited capacity for patient appointments. Out of respect for our patients and staff, a strict no- show policy will be in effect.
· Appointments that are missed due to illness or sickness will NOT be subject to a no-show fee. We ask that patients who will be missing appointments call or email our office to inform us that they will not be able to make it to their appointment.
· If an appointment is missed for a reason other than an illness, OR the office is not informed that the patient will not be attending their appointment, patients will be charged in FULL for missed appointments.
5.) Patient Arrival:
a.) Patients are asked to arrive on time for their appointment
b.) Upon entering the clinic, patients will be first screened by staff, and will be directed immediately into a private, enclosed treatment room.
6.) Office Cleaning Procedures:
The office will be following enhanced cleaning procedures during this time. These procedures will include:
· Staff will be responsible for cleaning the treatment room furnishings including table, chairs, and equipment between each patient visit.
· The room will be thoroughly cleaned by the practitioner before and at the end of their shift.
· The office will be thoroughly cleaned, outside of office hours, ONCE PER WEEK.
· All toys will be sanitized before returning to the shelves and magazines will be put away and will not be available for patient use.
· Eating and drinking in the office is not permitted by staff, practitioners or patients during this time.
· All staff and practitioners are to follow strict handwashing and hygiene procedures as outlined by the BCCDC (http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Professionals-Site/ Documents/COVID19_Handwashing%20Poster_MD%20offices.pdf)
7.) Other Office Considerations:
a.) Cloth materials in the office:
· We have removed all items that are not either plastic, leather or metal in material, so that everything can be sanitized and wiped down frequently. Any fabric used in treatment will be laundered after each use.
· As always, clinic linens/sheets and cleaning cloths will be one time use and will be laundered after each use
b.) Hand sanitizer and Cleaning Products:
· The office will provide general office cleaning products for the common areas, hand sanitizer for the front desk and, hand soap and one use towels for the bathroom
· Cash and other forms of payment (debit, credit) will continue to be accepted at the office, POS terminal and will be sanitized after each use
· Hand sanitizer will be available at the front entrance for use before and after handling cash or for general sanitary use.
c.) Practitioner Scheduling and Spacing of Appointments:
· In an effort to minimize unnecessary contact and to comply with social distancing measures, the staff agree to follow the agreed upon distancing schedule, with reduced office hours, in accordance with guidelines from the Province of BC and the CCBC.
d.) Office Signs: – Signs will be placed in the following areas of the office:
· On the front door: COVID Screening Questions and Protocols (in accordance with BCRMT guidelines).
· On the treatment room door COVID Screening, as per guidelines.
· In the bathroom: Hand washing Protocols, as per BCRMT guidelines.
· Bathrooms will remain OPEN for patient and staff use at this time.
· Hand soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer will be available in all bathrooms, as provided by the clinic.
· Bathrooms are to be cleaned after each use:
· Wipe down the door handles, light switches, taps, soap dispenser, toilet handle and seat
· Wipe down sink – wipe down flushing handle on toilet – make sure there is soap and hand towels available
· Signs for proper hand washing protocol will be posted in washroom.