Throughout COVID-19, we are providing phone and video counselling, along with limited in-person counselling at our office. For in-person appointments, we have implemented a number of safety protocols as laid out below.
Abma Counselling Services
Office Safety Measures In Effect During COVID-19
Throughout COVID-19, we have been providing counselling appointments over the phone or video. However, as more restrictions are being lifted in Ontario, we have been gradually re-starting in-person appointments while continuing to offer most counselling services through phone and video.
Since community transmission of COVID-19 continues, as we re-open our office we will be closely following the guidance of Public Health authorities and the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario.
To protect clients and therapists and to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, we have implemented the following measures:
What we are doing:
· Screening clients before each appointment. If a client has travelled outside of Ontario in the previous 14 days, has symptoms of COVID-19, or has been in close proximity of someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19, we will reschedule or change the in-person appointment to a phone or video session.
· Waiving fees for late cancellations due to COVID-19.
· Posting signs for COVID-19 screening.
· Limiting the number of in-person sessions and staggering appointments to reduce the number of people in the office.·
· Requiring all clients to wear masks when entering the building. *
· Asking clients to not use the waiting room seating area.
· Arranging office furniture to ensure that client and therapist are at least 2m (6ft) apart.
· Removing non-essential items from common areas such as candy, pens, magazines, cups, etc.
· Ensuring physical distancing throughout the appointment visit.
· Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers upon entry and exit.
· Providing tissues and non-touch lined garbages.
· Installing portable HEPA air filter units in each counselling office.
· Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces (e.g. pens, door handles, garbage bins, light switches, taps, furniture, etc.) and restrooms in between each appointment.
What we are asking our clients to do:
PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT
· If you have travelled outside of Ontario in the previous 14 days, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in close proximity of someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19, contact us to reschedule or change your in-person appointment to a phone or video session.
· Bring your own beverage.
· Unless you are unable to, please bring and wear your own mask.
- Your therapist will send you a text message with a COVID-19 Screening Test. You will be asked if you currently have any COVID-19 symptoms and if, in the last 14 days, you have travelled outside of Ontario or have been in contact with anyone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
ARRIVING AT YOUR APPOINTMENT
· Please wait at your vehicle.
· If you have completed your COVID-19 Screening, your therapist will review your answers.
If you answer "Yes" to any question, your therapist will either reschedule your appointment or arrange to meet by phone or video.
If you answer "No" to all questions, your therapist will contact you when s/he is ready to meet you at the entrance to our building.
· Wear your mask before entering the building.
DURING YOUR APPOINTMENT
· When entering the office, please use the hand sanitizer available in your therapist’s office and the reception desk.
· Maintain a distance of at least 2m (6ft) from your therapist and any other individuals.
· You may continue to wear or remove your mask at the beginning of your appointment. If you choose to wear a mask, your therapist will offer to wear one as well.
Thank you for working with us to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep all clients, therapists and their families safe.
Steve Abma, RP
Director, Abma Counselling Services
* following the Niagara Region masking bylaw, including exemptions for regulated health professionals, effective July 31, 2020 - October 1, 2020. (see https://bit.ly/maskbylaw).