Update for Families and Staff Regarding COVID-19
May 5, 2020
Dear NSPT Family,
The safety of your family and our staff remains our highest priority at NSPT. Since the first reports of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in the news, NSPT has followed the developments closely, considered the possible scenarios at the highest level, and has taken all the necessary measures to ensure the well-being of our families and staff.
Upon reaching our clinic doors, all visitors will be greeted with our latest COVID-19 prevention alert. You will also read our Drop-Off-Only policy posted on our doors. Your child will be allowed entry only if your answers to our COVID screening questions are negative. Our staff are educated continuously on disease prevention measures including human to human contact and facility disinfection. Every day, we attempt to disinfect items that clients and staff come into contact with such as toys, mats, and furniture. We also have cleaning staff who clean the entire facility. Additionally, we have hand sanitizer throughout the clinics, including the family lounge. Please help us stay healthy by washing your hands and your child’s hands or using hand sanitizer upon arrival.
We are constantly monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other global health organizations’ websites to ensure the actions we’re taking are comprehensive and appropriate.
Please adhere to the following guidelines:
If you or anyone in your family is visibly ill, we ask that you DO NOT come into the clinic for any appointments. We have suspended our late cancellation charge for face-to-face appointments cancelled because of illness and will work with you to reschedule.
In addition, for the safety and well-being of our clients and staff, please do not enter our clinic if your child has:
- Traveled internationally in the last 14 days or has had contact with an ill person who traveled internationally within 14 days
- Has or had a fever, cough, sore throat, and/or shortness of breath and less than 3 days have passed since complete resolution of the symptoms or less than 7 days have passed since the start of the symptoms
- Has a family member or close contact in the situation described directly above
- Has had close contact with any person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
If any of this applies to you, or you are not sure if it applies to you, please return to your vehicle and call our office and either our FCA or one of our therapists will speak with you on the phone to assess your situation.
Maintain a low risk for infection for your family by adhering to governmental recommendations such as not participating in social gatherings of 10 or more, avoiding movie theaters, eateries, malls, etc… Your therapist can decline to treat your child if he/she feels that your lifestyle puts NSPT at increased risk of infection.
If you have elderly folks or immunocompromised family members living in your household, you should weigh the risks of potential transmission from the clinic to your home. You can gather data about number of concurrent kids at the time period, whether or not your treatment takes place in a private room, etc, in order to decide on your own level of comfort. NSPT cannot make that decision for you nor can we ever guarantee a disease-free environment.
We have hand sanitizer available for our clients and you are always welcome to wash your hands in the clinic. We have temporarily suspended the use of the self check-in device. Please check in verbally with the front desk.
We are mandating our staff members to do the following:
- Wash their hands with soap and water upon entering the clinic or home site AND before working with each and every client.
- Add handwashing protocols to all clients at the beginning of each session.
- Immediately disinfect surfaces exposed to salivary secretions from sneezing, drooling, etc…
- Complete disinfectant protocols of all therapeutic materials and devices by the end of each day.
- Clean and wipe workspaces, computer keyboards, etc…
- Comply with all other precautions imposed on our clients, as well as by public health officials, including the wearing of facemasks.
As of May 1st, the Governor’s Modified Stay-at-Home Order states that all Illinois residents over age 2 must wear a face mask when they can’t maintain a 6-foot social distance in public.
- We are requiring our staff to wear a mask and are in the process of ordering custom cloth masks with unique designs to make the experience more fun while adding an additional measure of safety. Cloth masks are also less daunting than the surgical masks which are associated with doctors and hospitals.
- We ask that adults also follow the guidelines and wear masks when entering our buildings and dropping of your children. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
- As for the children themselves, we realize that each of our children are unique, and masks may not be appropriate for a particular child. We will not enforce the rule that children over age of 2 should wear a mask. However, if your particular therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well out of courtesy.
Other things we are doing:
- Drop-off only policy to increase social distancing in our family lounges (there are exceptional cases such as new Clients).
- We are attempting to transition Clients to telehealth when possible (depends on needs of Client and insurance coverage; and most major insurance is authorizing this service).
- We are attempting to increase the social distancing of the children we treat by offering more availability to those who were previously scheduled for afternoon while school is out of session and thereby reducing the number of children being treating simultaneously.
- We are trying to increase home-visits in order to increase social distancing in-clinic when feasible and covered by insurance.
School closures are NOT a reason to stop coming to NSPT:
Because of the strict precautions that we are taking both with our staff and clients, our measures act to promote a relatively safe environment for your child to continue to receive services, even though the schools may be closing. Whereas schools have a ratio of 30 children to 1 teacher and a crowded environment, NSPT is a one-on-one environment that allows us to carefully control the hygiene of each client; as well as our staff and environment. Also, because we are a health care facility, we adhere to much stricter guidelines with regard to hygiene than do schools and other public facilities.
Please note that we have not had any potential cases of coronavirus in our clinic and we are merely taking precautions to limit the potential exposure and spread of the virus. According to recent news in Chicago, it appears that we may be reaching the flattening of the curve and hope for continued good news to come thanks to the social distancing measures we all are taking as a community.
The best sources of additional information are the CDC (cdc.gov) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH.Illinois.gov) where you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the virus.
Thank you for your confidence in NSPT and appreciating our new policy changes.
David Michael, MD
Chief Visionary Officer
Click the link below to download the Consent to Receive Therapy Form.