The plan below is intended to outline the policies, practices and conditions established to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DC Department of Health (DCDH) guidelines for COVID-19, as well as federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment as a foremost priority. We are all responsible for implementing this plan. The collective goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 (and other illnesses) in our workplace, and that requires full cooperation among our clinicians and clients. Only through a collaborative effort can we generate the best opportunity for safety and wellness.
Scheduling an assessment
Its tremendous success in practice has culminated in our decision to maintain availability of virtual work for the foreseeable future. However, we're so happy to be back in the swing of meeting in-person! All testing sessions are conducted with thoughtful planning to optimize experience and results. We ask that you contact us early to develop assessment plans that promote comfort, efficiency, and safety.
Safety measures within WPA offices
We operate independently under the guidance of the DC Department of Health for healthcare facilities. As such, we are all fully vaccinated, participated in COVID-related continuing education, and maintain PPE use and other safety precautions. Please note that every provider has her own medical profile, risk tolerance, family considerations, and other factors. There is no singular office safety policy such that each provider can independently determine under what conditions she is best able to provide services. That said, consideration, communication, and mask use remain core expectations.
No assessment work should occur when either party is sick, suspects they may be sick, or is unsure of health status. If either clinician or client has any concerns at all about health, they are expected to stay home and we will prioritize rescheduling. If either clinician or client is aware of exposure to someone with COVID-19, has any possible symptoms, is awaiting COVID test results, etc. they are expected to remain home. An appointment can be made via telehealth or rescheduled once 5 days has elapsed if no symptoms emerge or a negative COVID-19 test is rendered after sufficient wait time (optimally 5 days post potential exposure).
Appropriately fitted masks or respirators are required in suite 635 and are encouraged in the common areas of 1990 K. Gaiters, bandanas, loose paper masks, and shields are not sufficient. We encourage visitors to have an extra mask on hand in case one breaks or becomes soiled. Please consult CDC guidelines with regard to how to ensure a mask is sufficiently fitted to seal the nose and mouth area. Under some circumstances, exceptions to the masking requirement may be made solely at the discretion of the provider in tandem with the client/client's family.
We will maintain space as best as possible in the assessment interaction, but all clients should know that there are brief intervals of closer contact (i.e. to retrieve/switch materials). Participants can take water or mask breaks in the waiting room only or in a designated separate space when that is occupied.
hand washing & sanitizing
Our bathroom is shared and steps have been taken to make its use safer. Visitors are encouraged to wash hands with soap and water upon arrival to the building. Hand-sanitizer is plentiful in our suite.
cleaning, disinfection & ventilation
Regular housekeeping practices have been amplified, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, and shared spaces such as restrooms and lobby areas. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted by clinicians in high-touch areas such door handles, computers, testing materials, etc. Testing participants will have ongoing access to sanitizer. We continue to utilize high quality Germ Guardian True HEPA filters, Homedics, adn Airthereal air purifiers. The building team has also made adjustments such that the maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the workplace, air re-circulation is being limited, and ventilation systems are closely monitored.
All of our providers have met expectations set by Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Health that all health care workers in the District of Columbia should be fully vaccinated. In-person participants of eligible age may be asked to demonstrate proof of vaccination to work in close proximity.
In some scenarios, testing participants may be asked to obtain COVID testing prior to the office visit. This decision is made by the evaluator in alignment with an office-wide policy of greater vigilance when a participant is not vaccinated, may be prone to removing or frequently touching his/her/their mask, community spread is high, seasonal risks are present, and/or there are other personal/medical extenuating circumstances.
Communicate. It might be hard, but we ask that anyone who later finds out that they were in close proximity to someone with COVID-19 or perhaps becomes symptomatic or tests positive themselves, let us know. There’s no blame or shame. There is risk of preventable harm if you do not disclose. We will be transparent in the office, and ask the same of our clients.
We remain in regular contact with leaders in the assessment field, test publishers, and colleagues to make decisions about best testing practices.
The variety of options we offer are guided by client best interest, research data, and safety first. If you have any questions at all, please ask! There are still many unknowns with regard to COVID-19, variants, and differing medical and mental health implications. Talking and planning together is key.