COVID-19 Safety Plan
Policy and Procedures for COVID-19
Purpose of Policy
At WonderKids and STEPS, we pride ourselves on effective and punctual communication for our clients and we adhere to strict health and safety requirements to ensure we keep our clients, staff and the greater community safe and well. We understand that effective containment, hygiene and communication creates trust and respect. We understand that the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing and we endeavour to follow best practice with advice from the BC Health Authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO).
1.2 Commencement of Policy
This additional policy will allow you as parents to feel safe and supported about in person treatments at the clinic. It will outline changed procedures and allow for clear rules for staff and clients. This Policy will commence from May 19th, 2020 and will be monitored and changed on an ongoing basis with new rules and regulations from the BC Health Authority. It will be an addition to the general WonderKids OT Policies and Procedures which each client already has signed at the beginning.
1.3 Application of this Policy
This Policy applies to all employees and sub-contractors and staff and well as to all clients who enter the clinic premises for treatment.
2. Policies and Procedures
2.1 Staff Responsibility
- Any staff member or close relative of a staff member such as spouse, partner, sibling, child or roommate who has travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate at home for a period of at least 14 days.
- Any staff member who has come in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must follow BC Health Organisation guidelines and self-isolate for a period of at least 14 days.
2.2.1 Personal Hygiene and Safety
- Staff members will not shake hands or hug upon entering the clinic. Physical contact must be kept at a minimum and social distancing is encouraged.
- All Staff member much wear a medical grade face masks at all times on clinic premisses. They must store their mask in a plastic zip lock bag within their own handbag if they choose to remove it during work hours for short period of eating and drinking.
- All staff must wash their hands immediately after contact with patients and after cleaning.
- All staff members will adhere to safety and cleaning standards as outline based on the BC health organisation guidelines.
2.2.2 Hygiene in the Treatment Rooms: Patient Contact
- Staff must wash their hands or use hand sanitiser prior to entering a treatment room.
- Staff must follow social distancing as much as practicable.
- Upon conclusion of the treatment session, staff members must wash their hands or use hand sanitiser. All staff are required to wipe down the surface with CDC approved cleaning product following the clinic cleaning checklist.
- Any toys/equipment that has been placed in the mouth of a child must be immediately placed in the ‘sterilisation’ bucket for cleaning.
- The clinic has HEPA approved air purification systems in all therapy rooms to increase our safety standards. The air filtration and clean outside air circulation is regularly checked by professionals adhering to the BC Health guidelines standards.
2.2.3 Hygiene in The Reception Areas: Client Contact
- Clients will be dropped off by parents outside of the door and enter the clinic with their respective therapist. Parents are discouraged to attend treatment at this time and will need to wait in their cars or outside the premises during their child’s treatment.
- The therapist will discuss individually if a parent is required to come into the clinic for drop off or has to stay in the therapy room to allow child participation. We will certainly work with each family on a case by case basis.
- Clients are no longer permitted to eat or drink their own food or beverages in reception with the exception of personal water bottles or milk bottles for infants.
- If a child receives back to back treatment between therapists, the parent is responsible to stay with the child outside of the clinic premises during times of transition. The child will be dropped off outside the clinic door to their parents and then picked up outside the clinic for their next sessions with a new therapist once it is time to commence with treatment.
- All common areas will be cleaned three times per day.
- There will be no parent or caregiver waiting in the reception areas without clear discussions with the treating therapist.
- Please follow the signage at the door and inside the clinic.
2.2.4 Mask Policy
All staff members and clinic staff will always wear a medical grade face mask in the clinic.
Clients are highly encouraged to wear a mask during treatment and will have to bring their own medical grade face masks (no cotton masks) to treatment. We have limited masks available for emergencies only if needed. When masks are removed, they must be immediately placed inside a zip lock bag and staff members must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
2.3 Client Responsibility
2.3.1 Pre-Screening for Clients in the Clinic
- All clients must be informed of the clinic’s new policy regarding treatment sessions a minimum of 48 hours prior to their appointment. All clients must sign and agree to the client’s checklist before arriving for their first appointment.
- Prior to EACH clinic visit all clients must perform a health check with their child, checking their temperature and general wellbeing as discussed on the client screening checklist.
- The client agrees to inform the therapist immediately about any changes in their health status prior to coming to treatment sessions.
- The treating therapist will verbally perform short a client screening at each start of the sessions to make sure that the client screening checklist is still up to date. This will be recorded in the clients file.
- Any clients who are visibly unwell displaying symptoms related to COVID-19 will immediately have their appointment cancelled to preserve the health and well-being of the staff.
2.3.2 Measures to Ensure the Health and Well-Being of Clients Attending Clinic Appointments
- Upon entering the clinic, all clients must wash their hands with soap or use hand sanitiser.
- Upon leaving the therapy room, clients must again wash their hands or use hand sanitiser.
- Clients will be directed to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer immediately if they touch, their mouth, nose or private parts during sessions.
- Only individual sessions will be available for clients in individual rooms.
- Some consideration for small group treatment will be given on individual client and therapist basis.
- The therapy sessions will be reduced to 45min sessions (instead of 50min), to allow the therapist additional cleaning time in-between clients and to allow the client a safe entry and exit with limited congestion. This decision was made to support the health and safety of each client.
Given the constantly changing situation, we will be flexible with the cancellation policy until such time that the situation has stabilized. We will deal with cancellation connected to COVID-19 on an individual basis. We do not want clients attending appointments if they are unwell because they are worried about missing a session. All staff offers Telehealth sessions and if a client is unwell the OT is available for an online session instead of the 1:1 session with the child or for a parent consultation.
2.4.1 Procedure if a Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19
- If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must disclose their medical status to the owner/director immediately upon confirmation of the diagnosis.
- The clinic must be closed immediately.
- All other staff members must self-disclose the diagnosis to their preferred doctor and present for testing, and the owner/director must report the diagnosis to the appropriate government agency.
- The owner/director will immediately inform all clients who have attended the clinic or have contact with that particular staff member.
- The clinic will remain closed for a period of 1-2 days from the first day of the confirmation of the diagnosis for deep cleaning.
- Provided no other staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and permission is granted from the BC government to operate, the clinic will remain re-open after 1-2 days.
2.4.2 Procedure if a Client Tests Positive for COVID-19
- Clients are requested to agree to disclosing if they test positive for COVID-19 any time within 14 days after attending a clinic appointment. This also includes family members who have attended clinic appointments with the client.
- The therapist who had direct contact with the client, will be required to get tested and possible self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.
- All other staff are able to continue work as normal.
3. Client Confidentiality
We understand that these are unprecedented times, we need to work flexibly but with the utmost professionalism.
- It is vital that employees continue to maintain client confidentiality.
- Wherever practicable, do not write reports or speak to clients in open areas.
- Therapists will offer a parent check in via telephone or zoom to allow parents to stay up to date on their child’s progress during therapy if they cannot attend the session. The therapist will allocate therapy time for these meetings on an individual basis.
- Wherever practicable, do not conduct telephone conversations in open areas.