In response to Covid-19, Creative Ways abruptly and completely ceased its in-person mental health services in March 2020, operating fully virtually until May 2021. Upon re-opening in 5/21, the practice has downsized its physical office space, so that it now occupies only the two upstairs units of the building. In order to mitigate risk within this space, the following precautions have been put in place and must be adhered to by all who choose to be physically present in the office.
1. Everyone entering the building will be required to wear a mask in common spaces, such as the entryway and stairwell, at all times. The mask must cover the nose and mouth. Disposable masks and gloves will be available, if needed. Once a therapist and client are in a counseling room, they may remove their masks only if both parties are in agreement, and only it has been at least two weeks since both parties have been fully vaccinated.
2. Clients will complete a health screening questionnaire upon arrival to the office about COVID-like symptoms or exposure. If the client or therapist is experiencing any symptoms or has been exposed, the appointment will be cancelled with no penalty. A parent/legal custodian must sign the health screening form for a minor.
3. Clients and therapists should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before entering the therapy room.
4. The only rooms that are available for therapy sessions are windowed rooms including Edgewood, Shaw, Takoma Park, and Mount Pleasant. The Takoma Park room also serves as the office, and can be used for therapy as needed.
5. Therapists must check the google calendar to schedule their clients and assure that the room they plan to use is available. Clients should be scheduled such that there is at least 30 minutes between sessions in each room, so that the room can be properly ventilated.
6. The windows in each of the therapy rooms are to remain open during and between sessions, as weather permits. All windows should be closed by the last person who leaves the office each day. Additionally, a hepa air-purifier must be running while the therapy room is in use.
7. The ceiling fan in each of the counseling rooms should also remain on during and in between sessions. They should all be turned off by the last person to leave the office each day.
8. Creative Ways no longer has a designated waiting room. If a client is accompanied by another person who needs to wait inside during a therapy session, they can wait in one of the unused, unwindowed rooms. There should not be more than one person in an unwindowed room at a time. If there is a need for two people to be in an unwindowed room, a hepa air-purifier must be running.
9. Clients will only be permitted to be in the room “assigned” by the therapist. They will not go in and out of other rooms, or bring any items (toys, play materials) from one room to another.
10. No food/snacks will be provided. Clients can bring or receive water.
11. If a client or therapist has symptoms, has been exposed, or tests positive for COVID, they should alert each other immediately. The therapist will alert Creative Ways owners to act accordingly. Both the therapist and the client must have a negative COVID test before returning to the office.