A New Normal
If you live in PA, then you are aware of the different phases of reopening affecting our state. York County recently became green in June. What does this mean?
Green is not an all clear as some would like to believe. The virus is still among us, live and well. Businesses are allowed to open under CDC guidelines to start up the economy again, but with mask-wearing and social-distancing still being reinforced.
And since pandemics have been recorded in human history, we can expect it will hang around for 18-36 months. Daunting right? It would take a lot of people to become infected to make it safe for humans to return to life as we knew it before the coronavirus began.
I cannot tell you how many folks I have seen in my area that are not taking these precautions seriously. Some are choosing to not to socially distance, nor wear masks at all. I have seen this in grocery stores, home stores, and in small shops.
At SHCS we take your health risks and our own seriously and respectfully. Here is what you can expect if you would choose to return to an in-person visit:
- Telehealth is recommended whenever possible for sessions, meetings, and groups. Appointment days and times will remain the same. Operating hours will remain unchanged.
- In-person visits are not recommended, however, they may occur on a case by case basis for persons that are unable to access and or struggling with telehealth, or for mental health emergencies. Please note the following:
- A COVID19 signed informed consent form will be required.
- The waiting room will remain closed. This means that your therapist would meet you at your car for an in-person visit.
- If inside, a mask is required, along with a temperature check at the door. Clients will be asked to wash their hands before the session, and again after the session if materials were handled. Social distancing will remain in place 6-feet apart between client and therapist.
- If a session is held outside (weather permitting), privacy cannot be completely guaranteed, however, you will not need a mask as long as social distancing is practiced. (Two outdoor spaces are underway.)
- Limits to certain therapy materials will continue in the office due to cleaning and disinfecting required between visits. Play items will continue to be cleaned routinely and instruments wiped down. Toys used by a client will not return to the shelf or shared by another client until it has been disinfected. We ask that clients who play with toys/instruments use hand sanitizer before/after any play activity and any time they touch their faces during play. If hand sanitizer is not available, the client will be prompted to wash their hands with soap and water. Temporarily we are also going to suspend the use of puppets and soft toys at this time.
- Please note for music therapy clients, that singing cannot take place during an in-person visit due to CDC guidelines. Telehealth is recommended if singing is especially necessary for your child. However, if outside (weather permitting), singing could take place if social distancing is practiced.
- Should a COVID19 exposure take place, the building will be thoroughly cleaned. Clients that have been to the building during the timeframe of exposure will be notified. Temperatures of therapists and co-workers will continue to be taken before entering the building and sent home if 100.4 or higher. If sick, we will follow the CDC recommendation on home isolation. Clients will be contacted if their therapist is unable to keep appointments due to illness.
With the increasing uncertainty and growing number of infected individuals around the world, I encourage you to take responsibility for yourself and your family. It’s important to take a proactive approach to minimize exposure.
- If you have recently been to any airport or traveled to any state by car with a stay-at-home order, please wait 14 days before coming in for an in-person appointment. Use telehealth whenever possible.
- If you’re exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, I urge you to stay home, take care of yourself, and seek medical help when appropriate.
- Please refer to the CDC website for additional information https://www.cdc.gov/, and maintain awareness by checking the official communications from our state https://www.pa.gov/ and the World Health Organization.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at SHCS. Stay safe and be well!