Wednesday, March 17th 2021
We are dedicated to continuing our efforts to reduce the viral load within our community.
In reference to the governor’s executive order GA-34 and the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice, we will not change our mask policy for patients and staff while in our office and for in-home visits. Our policy is out of an abundance of caution and safety towards our high-risk and medically compromised patient population.
We support the positions of the CDC, the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice.
Here is an excerpt from a recent TAHCH statement: According to the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice, removing the face covering or mask mandate statewide does not reduce or remove the HCSSA emergency rules with HHSC. The emergency rules are tied to the state disaster declaration which is tied to the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE). The interim Health and Human Services Secretary stated in January 2021 that the PHE would continue through 2021 any maybe into 2022. As long as the federal PHE remains in place, Texas will continue to re-up the monthly disaster declaration as this is how they receive federal support.
The following screening questions will be asked, prior to each in-home visit. Each treating therapist will also have to respond NO to all of the following questions before offering in-home sessions.
- Does the patient and/or caregiver show signs or symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, or loss of taste or smell? (Temperature will be checked upon arrival at your home and reading must be at 99.5F or below (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Does the patient and/or caregiver show signs of a new or worsening runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, or nausea/vomiting/diarrhea that is not related to a chronic condition
- Has the patient and/or anyone living in the same household you been asked to quarantine or is under investigation (awaiting test results) for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Has the patient and/or anyone living in the same household had Contact in the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, is under investigation for COVID-19, or is ill with respiratory illness?
- Limit the number of individuals present in the space where the sessions take place to one caregiver, the patient, treating therapist, and nurse (if applicable).
- Sessions that can take place outdoors are encouraged. The caregiver must be present.
- Therapists and patients will wash hands or utilize hand sanitizer at the beginning and end of each session.
- Therapists will wear a surgical mask at all times unless the mask impedes the therapy session (i.e. addressing speech sounds).
- In situations where a surgical mask impedes the therapy session, therapists may use a combination of a clear mask or face shield.
- All parents/caregivers are requested to wear a mask or a cloth face covering during the therapy session.
- Children ages two and above who are able to tolerate a mask and take it off independently are encouraged to wear one, unless it interferes with therapy (i.e. speech sounds).
- In instances where your child does not tolerate a mask, therapists may add extra precautions such as protective eyewear or face shield.
- During feeding therapy or other aerosol-generating procedures, therapists will follow ASHA and CDC guidelines by wearing an N95 mask, protective eyewear, and gloves.
- As of March 1, 2021 We have resumed collecting signatures on netbook with use of stylus and paper signature via VVLs( visit verification logs). All writing utensils and stylus will be sanitized before and after each use.