COVID-19 Update: from the office of Carolyn Claire, R.Psych.
COVID-19 Update: March 22, 2020
I have had to re-evaluate my COVID-19 plan outlined below. As you no doubt know current public health directives are advising against direct client care in non-urgent situations and are recommending providing services virtually. Given my small office and the nature of counselling, I was confident that I could mitigate any risks to clients or myself. Then on Friday, March 20, I learned that the College of Alberta Chiropractors had strongly recommended their professional members to suspend all non-urgent care. This led me to re-evaluate the inherent risk of in-person sessions to both my client as well as myself.
This past week I also had the opportunity to use several different secure video platforms developed for health care providers in order to offer secure and confidential services that meet health information protection criteria. These experiences allowed me to be confident that I would be able to offer meaningful virtual counselling sessions. I am now using the secure platform – Doxy.me – that allows us to do video sessions. It is very easy to use and requires only an internet connection, a camera, and a microphone, which most devices are now equipped with. I will send out the connection link in advance of our appointment. I have had good feedback from clients saying it was more comfortable than they had expected.
As before, if you are not comfortable with this option, we can reschedule or of course you have the option to cancel.
I know this is not ideal and I apologize for the changes. I wish circumstances were different, as I’m sure you do, too. We’ll get through this together.
COVID-19 Update: March 20, 2020
During this time of uncertainty and change, I am continuing to see clients. I am able to provide clients with the choice of doing the session either in person or by using the secure video platform VSee.
Reducing the Risk of Transmission: Coronavirus is spread through droplets released from coughing or sneezing. If these droplets land on a surface and you touch them, then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you may contract the disease. You cannot contract it from breathing the same air as someone has been infected with COVID-19 virus. In order to reduce the risk of transmission I have made the following changes to my practice:
- I am working to reduce the need for people to sit in the waiting room by scheduling breaks in between clients and asking clients to not arrive more than 10 minutes early. This will reduce the amount of hard surfaces that are shared.
- I have reduced/eliminated the need for my client to touch hard surfaces by changing how payments are made, changing to using disposable cups, and moving garbage cans.
- I am striving to ensure that the washroom (door knob, light switch, tap, toilet flushing handle) is disinfected after use by client or colleague.
- I have increased the distance between myself and my clients by moving the counselling chairs to meet the recommended distance of 1 metre for social distancing.
- I have eliminated physical contact (handshake, hugs) with clients and colleagues.
- I have asked clients to review the guidelines from Alberta Health to determine whether self-isolation is appropriate (see below) in this instance. I am able to provide counselling services through a secure video platform and have changed my cancellation policy to reduce the need to come in to the office.
- I practice frequent hand-washing and disinfecting common use areas in the office (front door handles, waiting room, light switches, etc.)
Please let me know if you have any questions.
COVID-19 Update: March 16, 2020
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, I want you to know that I am doing everything I can to support you through this difficult time. Please refer to these links to have the most up to date information:
I am taking added precautions to keep clients, coworkers, and myself safe by increasing routine disinfecting of the office, changing my cancellation policy (see below), promoting clients to self-screen, making hand cleaning supplies available, and offering remote services as an option.
At this time my office remains open and I am still seeing patients during my regularly scheduled hours as well as continuing to book new appointments. I am also available to provide remote counselling services via telephone or teleconference.
How to Assess Whether It is Appropriate to Meet in Person:
Given this unique environment I ask that clients practice caution and inline with these guidelines from Alberta Health:
- Please call/email to reschedule or change our appointment to be remote should you be feeling unwell (cough, chest congestion, runny nose, respiratory illness)
- Please determine whether you need to self-isolate or self-monitor by reviewing this Document. If you need to self-isolate please call/email to reschedule or change our appointment to be remote. If you need to self-monitor, please let me know and we can determine whether it is appropriate to meet in person or change our appointment to be remote. To determine whether self-isolation or self-monitoring is appropriate, please refer to this document put out by Government of Canada if you have: travelled out of the country in the last 14 days; the potential to be in contact with anyone who has travelled out of the country in the last 14 days; been in contact with or have the potential to be in contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
I am prepared to support you through these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to call or email if you have any questions. I am doing my best to stay on top of this situation and will provide updates via email as well as on this web page.
As always, please take good care of yourself.
Revised Cancellation Policy
If you are sick or experiencing any cold/flu symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, etc.) or have met any of the above criteria, please let me know as soon as possible. I will I will waive the cancellation fee.