Windward Healthcare is driven to help our clients engage in life activities with safety, confidence, and enjoyment. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, our drive remains the same, and we are committed to providing safe, and proficient service for our clients, team members, and community at large.
The purpose of this COVID-19 Safety Plan is to provide clarity and assurance to our clients and stakeholders that we are proactively adhering to requirements and recommendations set forth by our governing bodies and authorities (College of Occupational Therapists of BC, BC Centre of Disease and Control, the Provincial Health Officer, and WorkSafeBC) in order to safely resume in-person operations and client appointments.
Please note that COVID-19 related information is constantly evolving; we are continuing to monitor trusted information sources and will provide updates to versions of this Safety Plan accordingly. It is important for all individuals associated with Windward Healthcare to regularly check-in via various mediums (e.g. our website, your online profile, over-the-phone, and email) to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.
Basic Information Related to In-Person Sessions:
- As of May 19, 2020, community Occupational Therapists (herein referred to as OTs) are authorized to resume in-person sessions with proper policies and procedures in place. However, under guidance of COTBC, BCCDC, PHO, and WSBC, our in-person session will be allocated to those whose safety and/or recovery and rehabilitation requires in-person sessions.
- Telehealth (remote access) sessions will remain the primary method of service delivery until further notice.
- In order to conduct an in-person session, OTs must:
- Have completed training in and follow Windward Healthcare’s COVID-19 Policy and Procedures document.
- Conduct pre-screening for signs/symptoms within 24 hours of each in-person session for client and themselves; as well as day-of screening for themselves.
- If signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are present, OT must re-schedule until they or client is cleared of COVID-19 suspicion unless otherwise authorized.
- Any individual with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 is directed to a COVID-19 testing center, 811, and their primary care provider.
- OT will discuss strategies/procedures with their client BEFORE appointment to reduce risk of transmission and set mutual expectations for the session.
Please do not hesitate to talk to your OT about any questions you have regarding your individual recovery and or additional COVID-19 precautions that make you feel safe prior to your appointment or during the initial conversation with your OT (prior to your session).
Understanding the Risk and Risk Assessment:
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face. Situations that impose risk require adequate protocols to address the risk.
Protocols offer different levels of protection. Wherever possible, we are to use the protocols that offer the highest level of protection unless otherwise indicated by governing bodies and authorities.
Levels of Protection:
1 . Elimination
- Physical distancing means: keeping people at a safe physical distance from one another or away completely; limiting the number of people in your workspace/place at any one time; keeping individuals at least 2 metres from one another at all times.
- Physical distancing should be maintained at all times where possible; including when greeting (i.e. not greeting with physical contact such as handshakes).
Windward’s Workplace Changes to Support Elimination:
- Reducing work conducted in public to only unless it is integral for client safety or recovery/rehabilitation to be in public or in-person.
- Continuing Telehealth sessions/meetings as primary service delivery unless in-person are required for client safety/recovery.
2 . Engineering Controls
If maintaining physical distancing isn’t possible, installing physical barriers such as plexiglass to separate people.
Windward’sWorkplace Changes to Support Engineering Controls:
Windward’s team will be working remotely from non-public locations. In-person sessions will be conducted in the community setting where Windward does not have authority to engineer and install barriers to the workspace.
3 . Administrative Controls:
Establishing rules and guidelines, such as cleaning protocols
Windward’s Workplace Changes to Support Administrative Controls:
- Pre-screening: OTs must conduct signs/symptoms screening for both themselves and the client within 24-hours of session. OT will also assess for signs/symptoms on day-of in-person session.
- Individuals prohibited from working around others include those that have/has:
- Had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10days.
- Been directed by Public Health to self-isolate.
- Arrived from outside of Canada <14 days prior (must self-isolate for 14 days).
- Had contact with confirmed COVID-19 case (must self-isolate for 14 days).
- Individuals prohibited from working around others include those that have/has:
- Cleaning: OTs are using Health Canada approved sanitization sprays/wipes/sanitizer only. OTs have enhanced cleaning measures for self, equipment, and surfaces. Please see below for further detail.
- Equipment & work surfaces: (e.g. phones, computers, weights, measuring tapes) all equipment must be sanitized directly before and after each client use/contact.
- OT is required to sanitize hands before and after entering each session (sanitizing hands means to either wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or using hand sanitizer). Clients are to sanitize before each OT session and during the session as needed.
- Sanitize hands before/after all hands-on assessment/treatment/contact.
- Ensure proper use of before and proper disposal of after use of PPE (see PPE section below for further detail).
- Outdoor space is preferred for in-person sessions (so long as it is not utilized by other individuals in close proximity for both physical distancing and privacy purposes).
- Assessing the indoor space (if being used) to ensure physical distancing can be maintained (encouraging use of visual markers), determining the number of individuals at indoor location during time of session is essential only, and that adequate ventilation/airflow is available.
- Minimizing surface contact to necessary only and when contact occurs, taking measures for proper sanitization and disposal of sanitization products.
- Scheduling sessions virtually as the first option.
- Only conducting in-person sessions when necessary: Integral to client safety, recovery, rehabilitation.
- Scheduling in-person sessions in an outdoor space where possible.
- Scheduling in-person session when fewest people will be in the home/place of session.
- Scheduling fewer in-person sessions/day and strategically scheduling clients based on risk assessment and transmission risk.
- Providing clients with electronic forms to be filled out prior to the session.
- Reducing in-person session time, completing only what needs to be done in-person, in-person.
- Ensuring and supporting transparency of collective understanding of risks and procedures when in meeting with multiple stakeholders.
- Scheduling to promote personal washroom use.
4 . Personal protective equipment (PPE):
- PPE, such as non-medical masks should be used when the other levels of protection are not suffice to reduce risks. PPE should not be used as the only control measure. It should only be used in combination with other measures.
- Currently, PHSA indicates PPE allocation is fixated by health authorities (stage 4) Windward’s procedures reflect this stage of conservation.
Windward’s Workplace Changes to Support PPE:
- OTs will be engaging in PPE risk and point of care assessment for every client interaction.
- PPE is to be worn for in-person sessions by the OT when:
- Physical distancing cannot be maintained at all times.
- Session are indoors where the sanitization procedure is not consistent with BCCDC and WorkSafeBC standards or is “unknown” to the OT.
- Risks identified as anything higher than “low”.
- LOW = no respiratory symptoms.
- HIGH = asymptomatic COVID-19 contact, respiratory symptoms, suspect COVID-19, COVID-19 positive.
- PPE requirements:
- Mask- required; cloth or surgical. Clients are to wear masks and will be provided if they do not have one.
- Eye protection- required.
- Alternate clothing/covering- non-medical grade covering or alternate clothing is encouraged; only required when risk is high: asymptomatic COVID-19 contact, respiratory symptoms, suspect COVID-19, COVID-19 positive.
- Gloves- only required when risk is high: asymptomatic COVID-19 contact, respiratory symptoms, suspect COVID-19, COVID-19 positive. However, non-medical grade gloves may be worn as deemed necessary for certain interactions/contact.
How to Report Exposure:
If you become aware that you have potential or actual exposure to COVID-19 please follow up with your primary care provider or 811 for next steps and report this to Windward Healthcare Administration (604-364-8631; firstname.lastname@example.org) at first point of awareness.
What Constitutes as “potential” or “actual” exposure to COVID-19:
- Signs/Symptoms of COVID-19; COVID-19 suspected.
- Contact with an individual who is suspected of having COVID-19 with respiratory symptoms.
- Contact with an individual who is confirmed positive for having COVID-19.
- Contact with an area of outbreak of COVID-19.
How to Report Concerns or Provide Feedback
Your feedback is incredibly important to us, we take it seriously, and we will work to resolve any issues you identify. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Windward Healthcare Administration email@example.com. If you ever feel unsafe, have concerns, or suspect that services are placing you at a relative risk for injury or illness; please immediately notify your Occupational Therapist, disengage from that task, and contact Windward Healthcare immediately via phone and/or email.
OTHER IMPORTANT RESOURCES:
- COVID-19 Psychological First Aid Service: Information and Signup (British Columbia Psychological Association) – Free virtual counselling provided by registered psychologists.
- COVID-19: Staying Well In Uncertain Times (Canadian Mental Health Association – B.C.) – Tips and information on how to reduce and manage anxiety in the workplace due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression (Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions) – Tips and resources on things we can do as individuals and collectively to deal with stress and support one another during these challenging times.
- Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak (World Health Organization) – These mental health considerations were developed by the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Use as messages targeting different groups to support for mental and psychosocial well-being during COVID-19 outbreak.
- Mental Health and COVID-10 (Conference Board of Canada) – Videos on different aspects of mental health, including coping with anxiety, job loss, and dealing with isolation.
- Taking Care of Your Mental Health (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada) – Tips and resources for taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.