James Madison University

OTCES Clients Returning-to-Clinic Plan:

For now, the majority of our appointments will continue to be through teletherapy. Most insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, have extended coverage for telehealth. We will be operating on limited hours in order to ensure proper distancing. Thank you for your patience with us, and for continuing to allow us to serve you, be it electronically, or in person. Here is additional information about our new policies to promote social distancing, increased cleaning and sanitation initiatives, screening of staff and patients, and use of PPE.

Outpatient facilities and ambulatory care practices CDC guidelines:

  • Contact patients who may be a higher risk of COVID-19-related complications (e.g., elderly, those with underlying conditions, and other people who are at higher risk for complications from respiratory diseases) to ensure they are adhering to current medications and therapeutic regimens, confirm they have access to sufficient medication refills, and instruct them to notify their provider by phone if they become ill.
  • Ask symptomatic patients who require an in-person visit to call before they leave home, so staff are ready to receive them using appropriate infection control practices and personal protective equipment.
  • Do not penalize patients for cancelling or missing appointments because they are ill.
  • Place visual alerts, such as signs and posters in appropriate languages, at entrances and in strategic places providing instructions on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene (including the use of cloth face coverings), and cough etiquette

First and foremost, do NOT come to the office if you:

  • Have fever or respiratory symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone with these symptoms during the past 14 days; or
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not yet been cleared to return to work by an authorized public health official.
  • Individuals at increased health risk from Covid-19 due to underlying health conditions are discouraged from working on-site.

Client/Visitor Protocols:

  • OTCES Team members will be required to wear masks in university buildings unless they are in a private space or office with the door closed. Faculty and staff must also practice physical distancing of at least six feet.
  • OTCES Team members will be required to wear face masks during all face-to-face therapy sessions with clients.
  • When a client arrives, these are the new OTCES Covid-19 Policies & Procedures (this document will also be provided to families prior to their appointment).
  • Clients and visitors are required to wear their own face mask/covering upon arrival to the OTCES building. If not, they should be offered a facemask or cloth face covering as supplies allow, which should be worn while they are in the facility (if tolerated).
  •  They should also be instructed that if they must touch or adjust their cloth face covering, they should perform hand hygiene immediately before and after.
  • Facemasks and cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Physical/Social Distance Protocols:

  • Waiting Room will remain closed to reduce crowding. Therapists will ask patients to remain outside (e.g., stay in their vehicles), if feasible, until they are called into the facility for their appointment. If ambulation assistance is required, face masks are to be worn by parents/guardians assisting with transition needs.
  • Appointments will be staggered times and will utilize the side door of the clinic to maintain physical distance protocols for both OTCES team members and clients.
  • Use of plexiglass barriers will be implemented for use by therapists, in addition to masks and frequent handwashing, etc.
  • Two specific treatment areas will be designated in completely separate parts of the clinic, blocked off by physical barriers to prevent unintentional crossing by the children into the other space.

Appointment Scheduling:

  • Remote Work: OTCES team members who can work remotely via telehealth appointments and administrative duties to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may be allowed to continue to do so in order to reduce the number of individuals in the clinic.
  • Alternating Days: To limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, OTCES will schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces. This may affect your previous appointment time.

Sanitation/Infection Control Protocols:

  • All OTCES team members will complete cleaning and disinfecting procedures frequently throughout the day and between all sessions.