At Family Therapy Associates (FTA) we value the health and wellness of our clients and staff. We also remain committed to continuing to provide mental health services during this time of uncertainty. We will be keeping all scheduled therapy appointments and will offer the option of having these appointments in person or via telehealth or by phone. As of September, we provide in-person and telehealth services. Telehealth continues to be an option with all therapists. Please check back for further updates from our office related to COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you soon. Schedule a Telehealth appointment today.
Our Commitment to You During COVID-19
We want to acknowledge the anxiety many of you may be feeling about what is currently happening in our country right now with the coronavirus and the implications on daily life including therapy appointments. Please know that Family Therapy Associates cares about our clients and our employees very much. We have been working diligently to determine a plan that has your best interest in mind as well as our staff. At this time, therapy sessions may be conducted in person with a limited number of providers or via telehealth.
Some basic precautions and actions we encourage you to take during this time are:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or forearm when you cough or sneeze
- Please stay home when sick
- Maintain social distancing recommendations
- Avoid group gatherings
We want you to know that the health and safety of our FTA staff and clients is our priority. During this time we are supporting telecommuting for any employees to work from home if desired. We will continue offering telehealth services for clients who wish to continue this service. As we return to the office health and safety will continue to be our top priority.
- We are committed to keeping office spaces clean and disinfected and will provide disinfecting cleaner and hand sanitizer at all sites.
- We request no one comes into the office if not feeling well or exposed to COVID-19 per health department recommendations.
COVID-19: NOTICE TO CLIENTS
Family Therapy Associates (FTA) has employed a transition process for those therapists and clients interested in returning to face to face services in the office.
By using strategies that prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, FTA aims to protect employees and clients to the best of its ability. Although much thought and research has gone into the identified prevention measures, it is important to understand that it is impossible to keep anyone who enters the office completely safe from exposure to COVID-19. However, we remain committed to doing our part in combating the spread of COVID-19 and look forward to returning to provide the much-needed mental health services that both clients and staff so greatly value. Any in-office services provided at this time are voluntary and must be consented to by both therapist and client knowing the identified risks associated with COVID-19. No provider or client will be required to meet in person.
For those who return to in-office appointments, it is mandatory that social distancing recommendations are followed to the best of your ability. This includes, but is not limited to:
Maintaining social distancing is one of the most important ways to reduce the risk of infection of COVID-19. Physical space should be increased between employees and clients to maintain at least a six-foot distance at all times. Some offices will be reassigned and/or rearranged to maximize space for social distancing recommendations.
-FTA will decrease the capacity of clients in the office to ensure that recommended distancing is possible including staggering appointment times for clients and staggering therapists’ timeframes to return to in-office services.
-It is requested that clients wait in their cars until their appointment time at which time they may come into the office.
-FTA will limit the number of individuals in the building to those who need to be on site. It is requested that clients do not bring other family members, children, friends, or others to their appointment unless attending the session. The waiting room is only to be used for checking in to the appointment. It is also requested that clients wait in their cars until the time of their appointment or wait in their car while others are in session. Likewise, to minimize any wait time in the lobby, therapists are required to start and end therapy sessions on time.
-Traffic flow will be directed at each site when possible to support social distancing.
-Offices will be redesigned to support therapists and clients being separated by at least six feet when possible.
-Staff and clients shall ensure that social distancing is also maintained in hallways and other common areas.
-FTA employees will host any large team/staff meetings via videoconference rather than in person. In-person meetings should be limited as much as possible and as such collaboration groups will continue to occur via videoconference. If you must have an in-person meeting, please be aware of social distancing guidelines and limit the number of attendees if possible. Should social distancing not be possible due to the number of attendees please utilize the telehealth platform.
-FTA will continue to use electronic signatures via DocuSign to meet document signature requirements and avoid close contact.
-Employees are discouraged from handshaking, hugging, or other activities that may violate social distancing recommendations. Likewise, attempts should be made to limit hallway conversations and interactions.
-FTA shall implement interventions to increase physical space between employees and clients, including installing plexiglass partitions around the front desk counter and removing some waiting room chairs when possible to facilitate social distancing as much as possible.
-FTA will continue to implement touchless payment options to minimize handling of cash, credit cards and mobile or electronic devices when possible. This will include continuing to accept payments via the website, mail in payments and automatic payment forms for all clients.
-The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, especially in areas of community transmission. A cloth face covering does not protect the wearer from viruses, but it may prevent the spread of viruses from the wearer to other people. The use of face masks or cloth face coverings by employees is recommended when social distancing is not feasible in the work environment. The CDC illustrates how to properly wear a face covering and has several tutorials for how to make one. Please inform management if you desire to use a facemask but do not have access to one as these can be provided.
Health and hygiene:
-Employees or clients who have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 are instructed to stay home. Temperature checks and/or symptom screening is encouraged for employees and clients coming into the office. If you do have a temperature or have had a temperature in the last 24 hours please utilize telehealth for any scheduled appointments. Employees and clients are not allowed to come into the office if they have had a temperature or been around someone with a temperature above 100.3 within the past 24 hours.
-All employees should wash their hands frequently for no less than 20 seconds and utilize hand sanitizer throughout the day, including between any appointments seen in office.
-FTA will make every effort to maintain an adequate supply of paper goods, soap and hand sanitizer to allow proper hand hygiene among employees. Many items are currently backordered or out of stock due to the pandemic however disinfectant and hand sanitizer will be available at all offices.
-Hand sanitizing stations will be at each office entrance with instructions for clients to use upon entrance and exit from the office space.
-FTA shall provide tissues for proper cough/sneeze etiquette and no-touch disposal receptacles.
-Offices shall be cleaned on a regular basis and disinfected throughout the day based on client frequency. Therapists shall be responsible for disinfecting items in their own offices.
-Staff shall clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, printers, copiers and bathroom fixtures.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Processes:
-Disinfecting products will be available at each location. Common areas should be disinfected frequently including door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and faucets. More information is on the CDC website. Wearing gloves is recommended when utilizing any chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting.
-Therapists are responsible for disinfecting their own office in between any in office client visits.
-Administrative staff shall disinfect the common area in between any in office client visits.
-Employees are discouraged from sharing phones or other office equipment and shall sanitize shared workplace items before and after each use.
Communication with Clients and Staff:
-Posters will be placed at the entrance of each office where employees and clients are likely to see them. Signage will be posted on the front door letting clients know about changes to policies and to instruct them to not enter the office and utilize telehealth if they are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms.
-Communication with employees and clients will occur about actions being taken to prevent COVID-19 exposure through routine meetings, postings (including electronic postings) and the company website.
Family Therapy Associates, the provider or the client may return to telehealth services at any time upon request.
This is not a full transition for all staff and clients but intended to be a step towards resuming in person counseling availability for those requesting this service. We will be revisiting any additional recommendations as needed.
For more up to date information on COVID-19, please visit the Center for Disease Control.