Telehealth Services: Video Therapy Available Call 678-893-5300 to Schedule an Appointment.

The Summit Counseling Center
Contact Us (678) 893-5300

Summit Counseling: Phased Reopening

Cathy Murphy

summit-counseling-phased-reopeningGovernor Kemp has signed an executive order that lifts a shelter-in-place order for most of Georgia’s residents effective Friday, May 1st, while extending restrictions for those who are identified as medically fragile.1 Fulton County continues to lead the state with the number of documented newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Summit is committed to both serving the needs of our clients, while proceeding cautiously and responsibly, keeping the health of both our employees and clients in mind.

This phased response requires a downward trajectory of documented newly confirmed cases within a 14-day period. We will be using Georgia’s Department of Public Health2 daily status report as a guide for this COVID-19 response.

PHASE ONE

The Summit will enter “Phase One” tentatively starting May 11th based on COVID-19 Cases Over Time (7-day moving average). The time-period of Phase One is contingent on an evident decrease in confirmed cases, and an indication of a “flattening of the curve.” This phase will last for a period of no less than two-weeks.

At this time, only Psychological Services and Play Therapy Services will be provided in-office at the clinicians’ discretion:

  • Clients over the age of two and all staff will be required to wear a mask or will not be admitted to the facility.
  • Sessions will be limited to 45-min to allow for cleaning and disinfecting the area prior to the next client. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, etc. (Note: Psychological assessment services that require longer than 45 minutes will be scheduled with appropriate time between clients to allow for proper disinfecting.)
  • Common Areas (such as waiting rooms) will be closed, and clients will be asked to wait in their vehicles. Clients will be notified via telephone when the office has been sanitized and they are able to come into the office by the therapist.
  • Clinicians will be encouraged to follow CDC recommendations:
    • At any sign or symptom of illness, shelter in place for 14-days
    • Avoid close contact with clients whenever possible and arrange offices to maximize distance between the clinician and client(s).
    • Wash hands often
    • Use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your mouth and nose when around others with a mask, even if you do not feel sick. Masks should only be removed if there is a 6-foot distance within the session.

PHASE TWO

If there is no evidence of a resurgence of the coronavirus and numbers continue to decline, Phase Two will involve the following, and will last for a period of no less than two weeks. This will start tentatively on May 25th .

At this time, all clinical services with the exception of groups will be provided in-office at the clinicians’ discretion:

  • Clients over the age of two and all staff will be required to wear a mask or will not be admitted to the facility.
  • Sessions will be limited to 45-min to allow for cleaning and disinfecting the area prior to the next client. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, etc. (Note: Psychological assessment services that require longer than 45 minutes will be scheduled with appropriate time between clients to allow for proper disinfecting.)
  • Common Areas (such as waiting rooms) will be closed, and clients will be asked to wait in their vehicles. Clients will be notified via telephone when the office has been sanitized and they are able to come into the office by the therapist. Staff will be asked to avoid dining in any common dining areas.
  • Clinicians will be encouraged to follow CDC recommendations:
    • At any sign or symptom of illness, shelter in place for 14-days
    • Avoid close contact with clients whenever possible and arrange offices to maximize distance between the clinician and client(s).
    • Wash hands often
    • Use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your mouth and nose when around others with a mask, even if you do not feel sick. Masks should only be removed if there is a 6-foot distance within the session.

PHASE THREE

If there is no evidence of a resurgence of the coronavirus and numbers continue to decline, phase three will involve the following, and will last for a period of no less than two weeks. This will start tentatively on June 8th .

All Services, including group will be available in-office:

  • Masks for staff or clients will be considered optional.
  • Sessions will be limited to 45-min to allow for cleaning and disinfecting the area prior to the next client. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, etc. (Note: Psychological assessment services that require longer than 45 minutes will be scheduled with appropriate time between clients to allow for proper disinfecting.)
  • Common Areas (such as waiting rooms) will remain closed, and clients will be asked to wait in their cars.
  • Clinicians will be encouraged to follow CDC recommendations:
    • At any sign or symptom of illness, shelter in place for 14-days
    • Avoid close contact with clients whenever possible and arrange offices to maximize distance between the clinician and client(s).
    • Wash hands often
    • Use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Once Phase Three is complete, business will resume as usual, pre-COVID-19. The tentative date for this is June 22nd .

PRECAUTIONS & POSITIVE CASES

All clients and employees are encouraged to regularly monitor for symptoms through all phases of return. It is recommended to take a temperature on a daily basis, assess for dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea. On average it takes 5-6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.

In the event that a client, or employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the office will be shut down for a period of no less than 7-days. The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. How long it survives depends on the material the surface is made from. Upon return to the office, all areas will be wiped down and sanitized.

Any employee or client who presents to the office without a mask during the phased return will be at risk of being turned away from the office. The CDC recognizes that “a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms… In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain” Clients and Employees are able to make their own cloth mask coverings, following the YouTube Video here: https://youtu.be/tPx1yqvJgf4


1The governor’s office defines the “medically fragile” as people older than 65, residents who live in long-term care facilities, suffer from chronic lung disease, are undergoing cancer treatment, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with the disease caused by the coronavirus. These individuals are required to shelter in place until June 12.
2https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report
3https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

The Summit Counseling Center
Back to Top