COVID-19 Precautions

The following guidelines refer to the resumption of care on-site during the COVID-19 crisis. As guidelines for the country, state and county continue to develop, these policies will change to reflect current standards. We will monitor for updates daily. This plan was made referencing information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and information from the Harris County Public Health Department. It has been reviewed by medical professionals.

Clients

  • Clients ages 4 and older receiving therapy services in-person at The Carruth Center will be picked up for therapy from their vehicle and returned to their vehicle after their therapy session is complete.
  • Children under the age of 4 receiving therapy services in-person at The Carruth Center can be picked up from their vehicle, however, parents also have the option of bringing them to the clinic’s front porch, where they may wait while their child is screened for entry into the building. We ask that parents waiting on the porch practice social distancing.
  • Parents, caregivers and siblings will not be allowed in the waiting room, unless it is to use the restroom.
  • All parents must arrive to pick up their child 5–10 minutes before their child’s therapy session ends. Because of increased demands on staff to thoroughly sanitize and clean the facility, staff are unable to watch your child if you arrive late for pick-up.
  • A health screening takes place for each client before entering the building:
    • Clients will have their temperature taken via no-touch forehead scanner. Any client with a fever over 100.0 cannot be seen for services that day.
    • Parents/caregivers will be asked to report any COVID-19 symptoms the child has had in the past seven (7) days.
    • Parents/caregivers will be asked if any person in their household has had COVID-19 symptoms within the past seven (7) days.
    • Parents/caregivers will be asked to report if the client has taken any fever-reducing medicines within the past 24 hours.

If a client has a fever or the answer is “yes” to any of the screening questions, the client will not be seen for therapy that day. There will be no charge for the missed session as a last-minute cancellation.

  • Clients who have been ill may not return to The Carruth Center until they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication for 72 hours.
  • A confidential daily log is kept to document temperatures and screening results of clients.
  • Clients will wash their hands before starting and at the conclusion of their therapy.
  • Clients may not bring materials or toys from home to therapy. They may bring a drink to the clinic.
  • Client sessions may be abbreviated to make time for cleaning of therapy materials between sessions. Clients will only be charged for the time their child is seen, not for cleaning time.
  • Clients receiving in-person services will not be charged for last-minute cancellations at this time.
  • Clients receiving in-person services will be charged for no-shows at this time.
  • Client’s families will be notified of precautions The Carruth Center is taking to minimize the spread of infection so they are aware of the risk of their child returning to therapy.
  • Social distancing will be used when possible, however, it is very likely that your child’s therapist will be within 6 feet of your child during their therapy session. Masks are available to our therapy staff to wear during the session, but due to the nature of some therapies, they may be removed for part or all of your child’s therapy session to facilitate strategies that help your child in therapy.
  • Clients who are immunocompromised, medically fragile, or who are otherwise at risk for complications arising from catching an illness are encouraged not to return to the clinic at this time. Please talk to our staff about initiating teletherapy services to meet your child’s needs, if you would like to pursue services.
  • Any client who is not ready to return to the clinic can still receive services through teletherapy, as long as we utilize this platform and as long as it is benefiting your child.
  • If we are made aware that a client tests positive for COVID-19, the Health Department will be notified and a notification of potential exposure will be sent to Carruth families by the Clinic Director.

Staff

  • Staff have been educated about our COVID-19 precautions, use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), new policies and universal precautions related to decreasing the spread of germs and sanitation.
  • Staff who have a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 will not report to work and will follow CDC guidelines about returning to work.
  • Staff with members of their household who have COVID-19 or who are symptomatic of COVID-19 will not report to work.
  • Staff will take their temperature upon arrival to work and will record it in a log. Any staff member having a fever over 100.0, whether symptomatic or not, will be sent home.
  • Staff must pass the same screening questions as clients when they report to work daily. Staff will be sent home if they answer “yes” to any screening question.
  • If a staff member has a fever or becomes ill, they may return to work following CDC guidelines:
    • Fever free for 72 hours
    • Other symptoms have improved
    • At least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
  • If a staff member becomes ill with COVID-19or COVID-19 -like symptoms, the Health Department will be notified and a notification of potential exposure will be sent to Carruth families by the Clinic Director.

PPE and Use

  • Employees will wear masks when getting children from therapy and taking them back to their car, front porch or class.
  • When it does not prohibit clinical intervention, masks may also be worn during therapy sessions. Face shields are also made available to staff to wear during therapy sessions.
  • Staff may not congregate in common areas without wearing face masks.
  • All therapists will bring a change of clothes to work in case they come into contact with bodily fluids during a therapy session.
  • Gloves may be worn if a therapist is at risk for coming into contact with bodily fluids.
  • Because we are not a facility that treats clients for COVID-19 and because precautions are being taken to screen anyone coming into the clinic for COVID-19 symptoms, isolation gowns and goggles will not be used.

Clinic

  • Common areas will be wiped down in the morning, mid-day and in the afternoon with a CDC approved cleaner. Common areas include:
    • Light switches
    • Door knobs and handles
    • Table tops
    • Faucets, sinks and toilet handles
  • Therapists/staff will wipe down keyboards, phones and desks daily using a CDC approved cleaner.
  • Therapists in individual rooms will wipe down seating and table-tops between clients.
  • All toys and materials will be cleaned after use.
  • Materials that are too tedious to be cleaned (i.e., ball pits) will not be in use.
  • Visual alerts (Cover your Cough from CDC) will be posted at the doors of the clinic, educating others about decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Tissues, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap and gloves will be made readily available to staff.
  • Paraprofessionals/therapy technicians will be available to clean shared therapy areas while therapy occurs to minimize cross-contamination.
  • Cleaning/disinfecting of hard and soft surfaces will follow CDC guidelines.
  • Staggered work shifts will be implemented for therapists who must treat in shared areas.
  • The clinic will be thoroughly disinfected nightly by our maintenance team.
  • Maintenance crew will also come to the clinic twice daily to aid in disinfecting surfaces.

Any questions about these policies may be directed to Mimi Branham, Carruth Center Clinic Director at mbranham@carruthcenter.org.