We are excited to announce that Sound Expression is prepared to return to in-person services! This is following the directive that the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario issued on May 26th, which allows regulated health professionals to gradually reopen.
We have prepared safety plans and procedures, based on the safety guidelines and standards set out by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO), the Ontario Ministry of Health, and Public Health Ontario to ensure the safety of all clients and staff.
We are asking that every person attending our clinic follow these guidelines.
These new procedures follow the general guiding principles to reduce the risk of COVID-19:
- Screening staff and clients – no one enters the clinic if they are ill or considered high risk for COVID-19
- Ensure physical distancing
- Modifying the physical environment to add physical barriers
- Clinicians are prepared with personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Universal masking is encouraged for clients entering the clinic
- Increased intensity and frequency of clinic cleaning and disinfection, especially high-touch areas and objects such as toys and other treatment materials
- Encouraging staff and clients to practice proper hand hygiene
These policies and procedures were developed to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, within our clinic environment. Our policies and procedures will be evaluated on a regular basis and updated as required, to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We continue to offer and encourage telehealth options for those clients that can be supported through this service mode, as well as for those clients who prefer to receive services in this way while there are still risks of infection.
We ask that you only book your appointment if you believe that the benefits of in-person treatment will outweigh the associated risks. We also ask for your honesty when answering screening questions. We want to ensure we can maintain a safe environment for all clients and staff. You can discuss these risks with your treating clinician, to ensure you are making the safest decision for you and your family.
Upon booking your appointment, you will be asked to answer some screening questions for COVID-19. These will be sent to you via email or discussed with you over the phone, at the time of booking. Please answer them before coming for your appointment.
On the day of your appointment:
- Please try to come alone. Parents, guardian’s and persons of assistance who are attending appointments, will also have to complete the screening upon arrival.
- Please arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. If you do arrive early, we ask that you wait in the car until we contact you to begin your appointment. We will call you or come to the door to ask you to come in, when it is time for your session to begin. The clinic door will be locked to prevent persons who have not been screened, from entering the office.
- Appointment times are staggered to allow time between sessions for enhanced cleaning and sanitation. This is also meant to prevent you from crossing paths with anyone other than your treating clinician. As a result, if you arrive late, we unfortunately may not be able to accommodate your full session duration. We are sorry for this inconvenience.
- Please come into the clinic wearing a clean mask (reusable or disposable). Masks will be provided if you do not have one (NOTE: one size only – we DO NOT have masks that are specially sized for children). If you have concerns about wearing a mask, please contact us to discuss further.
- You will be asked to answer the screening questions for COVID-19, as you had answered at the time of booking.*
- Sanitize / wash your hands upon arrival to and before you leave the clinic.
- Please maintain physical distancing at all times, when inside the clinic (i.e., 2 meters or 6 feet between you and others in the clinic).
- No beverages are available at this time. If you benefit from water, during your appointment, we ask that you bring your own water into the clinic and take it out with you when you leave.
- The accessible washroom at the back of the clinic is available for client use and is sanitized after each client’s appointment.
- There are signs posted throughout the clinic to encourage proper hand hygiene and physical distance.
*Cancellation fees will not be charged for any cancellation due to illness or for any cancellation due to an increased risk of COVID-19 (i.e., if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions).
At Sound Expression, we are taking precautions to protect your health including:
- Actively screening clients, and the family member who may be attending with them, both at the time of booking and upon arrival at the clinic.
- Actively screening any external contractors that may need to enter the clinic to support our operations (e.g., IT Personnel; HVAC Technicians, etc.).
- Delaying treatment sessions for those who are ill or who have COVID-19 symptoms by at least 14 days, or until they are symptom free.
- Staggering appointment times to reduce the number of people in the clinic at one time; to prevent you from crossing paths with anyone other than your treating clinician; and to allow time between sessions for enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures.
- Providing ongoing teletherapy (via secure videoconference platforms), when clinically appropriate, to reduce the number of clients and staff in the clinic.
- Wearing PPE, including masks and face shields. In some cases, your clinician may only wear a face shield during the session, but this will be discussed with you prior to your session (i.e., in situations where you need to see the clinician’s mouth or facial expressions, or if there are concerns with understanding what your clinician is saying to you).
- Universal masking for all people entering the clinic, is strongly encouraged.
- Performing proper hand hygiene.
- Setting up assessment and treatment sessions in spaces that promote physical distancing.
- Using cleaning products, disinfectants, and hand sanitizing products that are approved by Health Canada.
- Increasing the frequency and intensity of our clinic cleaning by disinfecting all touched surfaces and toys used between each client.
- Encourage the use of contactless payment methods, at the completion of sessions.
- Sharing therapeutic materials and resources with clients and families, electronically, to limit the amount of paper passed between you and your treating clinician.
- Removal of chairs, toys, magazines, pamphlets and business cards in our waiting area to reduce the number of common surfaces or objects that can be touched.
- Chairs for client sessions are fabric free and can be fully sanitized after each session.
- Daily screenings of staff for symptoms and following the Public Health’s directives if we do come into direct contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case or become symptomatic. In this case, clients will be notified.
Since Ontario is still in a state of emergency and even though precautions are being made, we cannot eliminate the risk of infection completely.
If you have any questions or concerns about our safety procedures, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 519-742-3405.
We thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility as we ease our way back into serving you. We are extremely grateful that we can return to helping our clients in-person, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
The Sound Expression Team