To ensure the safety of clients and staff, TIPES will reopen gradually with measures to reduce the number of attendees and contact. Due to the fluidity of COVID-19, we will continue to reassess and adjust our policies and procedures with the most recent recommendations from Public Health.
Eligibility for returning to in-centre services
· Legal guardians are required to complete a clinical risk assessment with the learner’s senior therapist to determine if the learner is eligible to resume services. Learners who engage in aggressive behaviours or behaviours that may be high risk are required to complete a risk evaluation with their senior therapist.
· Legal guardians are required to sign and return this document indicating they have read and understood these new policies and procedures.
· Sessions in-centre are for learners who have met the eligibility requirements.
· Services are offered in the mornings and afternoons.
· Learners who attend TIPES for 10 sessions a week (full-time, Monday–Friday) are permitted to stay for lunch. Full-day sessions are offered from 8:30am–3:30pm and learners receive a one-hour lunch period from 11:30am–12:30pm.
· Learners who attend full-time work with two therapists (one therapist in the morning and another therapist in the afternoon).
· Morning sessions are offered from 8:30am–11:30am.
· Afternoon sessions are offered from 12:30pm–3:30pm, plus one hour of paperwork.
· Part-time learners are not permitted to attend full days.
Aftercare and respite
· There are no aftercare or respite services available at this time.
Counselling and case management support
· All counselling and case management support is provided remotely via Zoom.
Visitors and other professionals
· Visitors and other professionals, including speech language pathologists and occupational therapists, are not permitted entry into the centre at this time. However, sessions and meetings can occur online via Zoom.
· Learners and staff are assigned dedicated work areas.
· Depending on the size of the therapy room, up to eight people may be designated to one therapy room if physical distancing measures can take place.
· Other than the learner’s program materials and a few select toys, all other toys/materials are removed from the therapy room to prevent contamination.
Cohorts and therapists
· Two cohorts of learners have been established: those who receive therapy upstairs and
those who receive therapy downstairs. Each cohort is not permitted to mix with the other. Staff members may be scheduled to work with different cohorts.
· Each learner’s team is limited to three therapists.
· Moving furniture or using visual cues such as tape on the floor is used to enhance physical distancing measures.
· Administrative staff (i.e. accounting) are encouraged to work from home whenever possible.
Personal protective equipment (PPEs)
· Staff are required to wear masks while working with learners.
· Level 1 disposable masks are provided on-site.
· Staff are required to wear either face shields or glasses, in addition to face masks, when working with learners.
· Disposable nitrile gloves are provided for staff but are not mandatory.
· Learners are encouraged to wear masks while they are on-site. Safety skills such as wearing a mask,
handwashing and using hand sanitizer are prioritized in the learner’s programming.
· Before sessions resume in-centre, legal guardians are encouraged to practice wearing a mask at home with the learner. Senior therapists will provide tips for legal guardians on how to familiarize the learner with this skill.
· The sensory room and library are only used when learners cannot go outdoors for recess in the event of inclement weather.
· Learners are also able to access toys in their assigned therapy room which will then be sterilized at the end of each session and as needed.
· Washrooms are limited to one person at a time.
· Toilet facilities are sanitized after each use using disinfectant wipes.
Offices (main office, senior therapy offices)
· Sharing phones, desks, and other office tools and equipment is discouraged and are disinfected after each shared use.
· Senior therapist offices will be limited to four staff.
· Learners are permitted to use the play structure by cohort and at scheduled times. Campus cleaning staff sanitize the structure regularly between cohorts.
· Learners may bring toys outside to play with. The toys will be sterilized at the end of the session.
· Learners bring their own sunscreen and therapists may apply the sunscreen with the written permission of a legal guardian.
Snacks and lunch
· Learners who attend TIPES for 10 sessions/week, Monday–Friday are permitted to stay for lunch. Learners eat lunch with their assigned cohort in the therapy room (one staff to two–three learners).
· Legal guardians are discouraged from packing food that requires additional preparation.
· Multi-use utensils must be sanitized.
· Learners and staff wash hands thoroughly before and after snack times.
· Common surfaces are disinfected before and after snack times.
· No activities involving the learner’s participation in food preparation are allowed (i.e. cooking club).
Toys and program materials
· All toys are cleaned and disinfected.
· Toys with porous surfaces such as plush toys are removed from the centre.
· Sensory bins, water tables, and toys that cannot be disinfected such as Play-Doh are single use or assigned to one learner.
· Cots and linens are sanitized or laundered between learners.
· Learner’s personal items are labeled with their name to prevent accidental sharing.
· Learners have their own set of program materials that will not be shared with others.
· Chewlery is discouraged.
· To limit the exchange of paper, all notices, supervision notes, and letters to legal guardians are emailed.
· Therapist communication books are no longer sent home. Now, therapists email legal guardians a summary of the learner’s therapy session with the senior therapist carbon copied.
· Whenever possible, staff utilize technologies available to them such as email, text, and
teleconferencing to minimize contact with others.
· In-person meetings are limited to five people in attendance while practicing physical distancing.
· On-site meetings with more than five people are held outdoors.
Clinical supervision meetings
· When practical and clinically appropriate, monthly clinical supervision meetings are held virtually via Zoom.
· In cases where in-person meetings are necessary, physical distancing measure apply.
· Each therapy room is stocked with hand sanitizer, paper towel, commercial disinfectant spray,
disinfectant wipes, gloves, and tissues.
· The use of hard-surface disinfectant and hand sanitizer meet Health Canada’s requirements for COVID-19.
· Cleaning supplies are stored safely out of the learner’s reach.
· Therapy rooms have a cleaning checklist so individuals will know what cleaning procedures must be
completed after the session. Therapists are required to disinfect the therapy room including all common surfaces at the end of each shift (tables, chairs, toys, door handles, front and back of doors, light switches).
· There is dedicated cleaning time after each therapy session to clean and disinfect surfaces.
Drop off and pick up procedures
· Pick up and drop off occurs outside of the centre.
· Legal guardians are required to stay in their car or maintain physical distancing outside the TIPES door
until the learner’s therapist arrives.
· All individuals entering the centre will be required to disinfect their hands immediately upon arrival and before leaving.
· The late collection fee outlined in our client handbook is still in effect. Late fees are charged at $20.00 for the first 10 minutes, followed by $2.00 per minute thereafter. Legal guardians are also billed for any fees absorbed by the centre as the result of late pick-up. We understand that weather and traffic accidents happen; however, we appreciate legal guardians calling the office to keep us informed and to make arrangements for an alternate pick-up. Services may be withdrawn for legal guardians who frequently arrive late.
· All individuals entering the centre are required to fill out a mandatory screening questionnaire. Individuals will be denied entry if they answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
Do you have any signs or symptoms of respiratory infection, such as cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and/or fever?
Have you traveled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
Have you been in contact with someone in the last 14 days who has a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19?
· Temperature readings are conducted as needed using non-contact, infrared thermometers before entry into the building. Learners and staff are not permitted to enter the centre if they have a temperature equal to or greater than 38 degrees Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
· Ear thermometers are not used between learners and staff without single-use protective covers or
disinfecting between use.
· If the learner or staff presents any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they must stay home until they are symptom free for 48 hours or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test. If there is discrepancy or
uncertainty about signs and symptoms, please contact TIPES prior to arriving at the centre.
· If the learner or staff presents mild symptoms that are considered atypical of COVID-19, please contact
TIPES and each case will be addressed on an individual basis. A physician’s note may be requested for an individual to return with mild cold-like symptoms.
· Daily attendance and screening questionnaires are filed in the main office in order to provide contact tracing should a case of COVID-19 be associated with TIPES.
Management of learners and staff with possible COVID-19
· The legal guardian of a learner who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at the centre is notified to pick up the learner as soon as possible.
· Symptomatic learners are immediately separated from others in a supervised area until they can go home.
· Staff supervising the learner will maintain a distance of two metres, if possible.
· Once the learner has been picked up, a thorough cleaning is completed in all spaces the learner was present.
· Public Health will be notified of a potential case of COVID-19. Further instruction will then be relayed, if necessary, based on what is determined by Public Health.
· Symptomatic learners must be excluded from all therapy until they have been cleared by a physician. A
physician’s note clearing the learner is required before they can resume in-centre services.
· Staff who are symptomatic also require a physician’s note clearing them before they are able to return to work.