Helping Children Achieve Their Potential
Infection Control Protocol
NOTE – At this time, clients are encouraged to cancel in-person sessions, should they or any others with whom they come in contact present ANY of the symptoms related to COVID-19 below. No charges for missed sessions when ill will be made. Clients can, instead, have on-line teletherapy sessions, if desired.
Introduction and Objective
Infection prevention and control are integral to having a functional and safe workplace. Common concerns surrounding the potential for pathogens to infect staff members or our clientele must be combated with infection control protocol which is both effective and realistic.
The policies practiced at BC Speech, Language and Communication, which relate to infection control, can be summarized as follows:
General Procedures for All:
- At the beginning of any meeting, consultation, assessment or intervention session, all parties present at any time just before, or during the session will wash hands with soap and water, then will apply hand sanitizer. We are equipped with soap and hand sanitizer and tissues to be used as needed.
- Should any party who is present during a consultation, assessment, meeting or intervention session touch his/her face, nose, or mouth, or cough or sneeze into his/her hands, he/she will be asked to wash his/her hands, then use sanitizer.
- Social distancing measures will be implemented whenever possible during sessions. This may include sitting as far apart as possible, and attempting to avoid direct physical contact between client and staff, when possible.
- Parents, who drop their child off for services, will be asked to stay outside and to refrain from entering, if possible.
- Children and parents will remove their shoes prior to entering an assessment, intervention session, consultation or meeting, outside the front door.
- Weather permitting, windows in the therapy room will remain open, to properly ventilate the space.
- If possible, sessions which occur at a client’s home or school should occur in a well-ventilated space. Outside is best (e.g., in a yard, in an open garage, or on a balcony), but near open windows is also preferred.
- When a session is completed, parents will be debriefed outside, whenever possible.
- In the event a client or the staff comes into contact with an infectious pathogen requiring a high level of precaution, the local health authorities will be notified (i.e., Covid-19, hemorrhagic fever, tuberculosis, or meningitis, etc.).
- If any client, family member, or person with whom the client has come into contact is unwell with symptoms related to Covid-19 (i.e., symptoms A-J below), we would require a cancellation of the client’s in-person appointment until at least two weeks after he/she is better, and they should have medical clearance. An on-line session can be arranged in its place, if desired.
- If any client is unwell with symptoms such as K-P listed below, we would require a cancellation of the client’s appointment until symptoms are resolved. An on-line session can be arranged in its place, if desired.
Examples of illnesses which would warrant the cancellation of an appointment would be:
- Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Fever of 37.8 Celsius or higher
- Runny nose
- Sore Throat
- Unexplained Rash
- Production of Discoloured Mucus
- Rhinovirus (head cold)
- Influenza/ Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Head Lice
- Diarrhea and/or Vomiting
- Strep Throat or Mononucleosis
- Chicken Pox or Herpes Zoster
- If an appointment or meeting begins, and it becomes apparent that a client or a family member is unwell, unwilling or unable for any reason to follow protocols established herein, as may be modified from time-to-time, then the staff at BC Speech, Language and Communication, in their sole and complete discretion, reserves the right to discontinue or cancel the session, and the client will be charged.
- Only one adult (i.e., parent, caregiver, grandparent or adult sibling) is permitted to be present with a client in an assessment or intervention session.
- If the staff member, any family member, or person with whom the staff member has come into contact is unwell with symptoms related to Covid-19 (i.e., symptoms A-J above), all in-person appointments will be cancelled, until at least two weeks after they are better, and they have medical clearance. On-line sessions can be arranged, if appropriate.
- If the staff member is unwell with symptoms such as K-P listed above, all in-person appointments will be cancelled until the illness is resolved. On-line sessions can be arranged, if appropriate.
- Staff will wear a face shield during all in-person sessions and will clean it with a wipe before and after each meeting, assessment, consultation or intervention session.
- Staff may opt to wear a non-medical mouth and nose mask during in-person assessments, consultations or intervention sessions, along with their face shield.
- Staff will wear a non-medical mouth and nose mask during in-person meetings, and may opt to wear a face shield in addition.
- Staff is expected and required to follow proper hand hygiene at all times. This includes washing after every bathroom visit, as well as using provided hand sanitizer between client visits.
- Staff is expected to be familiar with established guidelines for proper hand washing, and to follow the steps required to attain acceptable hand hygiene.
- Staff is expected to use gloves for any activity that may put them into contact with body fluids, such as saliva (i.e. during an oral motor evaluation).
- Staff should be sure to utilize a bandage and cover up any scrapes or cuts to ensure that any wounds are kept clean.
- Staff should never reuse any single use devices, such as tongue depressors, and will dispose of them safely after use.
- Disinfectant wipes, paper towels and cleaning fluids are available. Upon completion of all in-person sessions, all surfaces and toys/materials with which the client, parent and/or staff has come into contact will be wiped thoroughly.
- If a client is either well or is visibly unwell, and has had their bodily fluids (i.e. saliva) come into contact with a book or toy in the office, staff will thoroughly wipe down said item with a disinfectant wipe or paper towel and disinfectant spray immediately and will repeat this procedure following the session.
- If a client experiences an “accident” during a session, care will be taken to notify the parents so that they can clean up their child. In addition, staff is responsible to:
- Isolate the area
- Use a reliable cleaning solution to wipe any traces of bodily fluids from the vicinity
- Wash hands afterwards, thoroughly
Cleaning and Disinfection Checklist
|Practice Considerations||What to Use||Recommendations for Use|
|Floors||Broom ,mop and/or vacuum||Twice monthly, and when visibly soiled|
|Tables and Desk||Low level disinfection agent, such as diluted bleach or disinfectant wipes||Clean surfaces that a client has contact with after each session. Other lesser-used surfaces can be cleaned on a weekly basis.|
|Toys used in therapy||Disinfectant wipes||Clean toys between sessions|
|Office equipment such as printers, telephones, etc.||Disinfectant wipes or isopropanol for delicate electronics||Once weekly, or after being used by someone with an illnes|