COVID Safety

Re-Opening of Outpatient Therapy Clinic After COVID-19

Purpose:  To establish protocols and guidelines for staff and clients to preserve a safe and clean atmosphere to work and treat clients in. Protocols are based off the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Guidelines for Essential Employees and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) playbook. Please note protocols may overlap in discussion point to reiterate the importance. 
 

  • Facility Preparation
  • Staff Protocol
  • Client Protocol for treatment at the clinic
  • Vendor Protocol• Patient Scheduling
  • Use of Appropriate PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)
  • Sanitation Protocol

View Full Protocol

Facility Preparation: Per CDC Guidelines

  1. Practice social distancing: Social distancing means avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others, whenever possible.
    1. Staff office space: spread out use other areas no more than 2 staff members utilizing office space, if applicable
  2. Mark off space in waiting area: spacing out chairs 6ft or greater
    1. Remove excess furniture and space out appropriately but comfortable arrangement.
  3. Limit the number of persons in the facility at the same time.
    1. Staff, clients with one family member if applicable.
  4. Schedule appointment for adequate spacing of clients.
    1. Staggered appointment to avoid contact with other clients.
  5. Minimize wait times:
    1. Clients/Caregivers wait in their vehicle and call when they arrive.
      i. Utilize student interns, staff to monitor phone calls and/or go to vehicle to escort client into building and prepare client for treatment, i.e. handwashing.
  6. Designate assigned rooms/space for treatment.
    1. Wherever possible, segment the workspace into discrete zones.
    2. Staff will be mindful of client’s abilities and will utilize other areas for treatment when possible.
  7. Increase Ventilation of office space.
    1. Increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system where possible. Back clinic entrance
      will remain closed at all times, front lobby and entrance door to treatment may remain open.
    2. Reduce common touch points by opening internal doors where possible.
  8. Sanitation Protocols to be adhered to (see Sanitation Section)
    1. Log/check off of when equipment and areas have been sanitized
    2. Frequent cleaning of high touchpoints: doorknobs, bathroom, lobby, etc. (assign staff to clean)
  9. Availability of PPE
    1. masks, gloves gowns, etc if applicable
    2. hand sanitizers
    3. tissue
    4. pedal operated trash cans
  10. Post Signs of proper Hand Hygiene and Expectations of Clients on walls, social media and website.

Staff Protocol: Per CDC Guidelines

  1. Staff Triage
    1. Temperature check upon arrival of work and logged (placed in medical file). Each staff at the clinic will have their own log sheet and will submit to Practice Manager at the end of the week to be placed in medical file. Information will be kept “Confidential”.
    2. If ill, DO NOT GO TO WORK: follow CDC guidelines
      1. Where possible, employees should take their temperature before they go to work. If they have a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they should stay home.
      2. Notify Supervisor
      3. Isolate yourself at home
      4. Consult healthcare provider
    3. If symptomatic: DO NOT GO TO WORK: follow CDC Guidelines
      1. Notify Supervisor
      2. Should not return to work until criteria to discontinue home isolation are met according to healthcare provider or State/Local Health Depts.
    4. If Confirmed Diagnosis or Exposed to COVID-19: DO NOT GO TO WORK, follow CDC Guidelines
      1. Notify Supervisor
      2. Consult healthcare provider
      3. Fellow employees will be notified of possible exposure while maintain confidentiality
      4. Self-monitor symptoms
      5. Areas that staff has been in contacted with will be ventilated, cleaned and disinfected.
      6. Should not return to work until criteria to discontinue home isolation are met according to healthcare provider or State/Local Health Depts.
  2. Use Proper Hand Hygiene Protocol:
    1. Washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching mouth and nose, avoiding close contact with others, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, using cough and sneeze etiquette, and staying at home when sick.
    2. Upon arrival at work, before working with clients, after working with clients, upon leaving and returning the building, etc.
  3. Avoid Physical Contact as much as possible:
    1. Practice social distancing: Social distancing means avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.
    2. Staff office space: spread out use other areas no more than 2 staff members utilizing office space, if applicable
    3. Avoid shaking hands, high fives, fist bumps, etc.
  4. Use PPE:
    1. Mask/cloth face coverings are required while in the workplace.
      1. Exceptions: employees working in private offices and outdoor spaces
      2. From the time staff entered into the building and when staff exits the building
      3. Staff moves around common areas, working in congregate areas
      4. During direct care with clients.

Client Protocol:

  1. Communication of Guidelines Prior to visit: Per CDC Guidelines
    1. Letter to Clients communicating protocols -See Client Letter
      1. Consider: mail, e-mail, social media website.
  2. Questionnaire for Clients/Caregivers prior to scheduling: If yes to any questions, telehealth service would be the appropriate option. Answers are “Confidential” and will be used for the sole purpose of appropriate scheduling of client.
    1. Have you been in contact with someone known to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    2. Have you personally had COVID-19? If so, have you been released by your physician to return to regular activities?
    3. Have you been told by a public health official that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    4. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms within the last 14 days?
      1. Fever
      2. Cough
      3. Sore throat
      4. Do you have any current symptoms of illness?
  3. Have client call and cancel if they develop any symptoms prior to the visit. Visit may be rescheduled to telehealth.
    1. Please note cancellation fees will be waived during this crisis.
  4. Temperature Check of clients prior to treatment. “Confidential”
    1. Daily schedule will be printed out and using an infrared non-contact thermometer, client’s temperature will be taken and logged.
  5. Proper Hand Washing upon arrival and before leaving session.
    1. Washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching mouth and nose, avoiding close contact with others, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, using cough and sneeze etiquette, and staying at home when sick.
  6. Clients will not be able to enter treatment area without a staff member.
    1. Clients/Caregivers may utilize restroom through back entrance door.
  7. Consider having client’s call in parking lot on arrival. Consider having parent’s wait in their cars.
  8. Clients are encouraged to wear masks while in the facility at all times, may consider alternating between telehealth services and in-clinic treatment services. Per CDC guidelines: Clients should wear mask or cloth face covering while in the facility unless the child is under the age of 2 or conflicts with his/her medical condition.