I am offering video sessions and phone sessions for anyone who would like to meet using technology.
I wanted to let everyone know what I am doing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Additionally I am keeping up on how the virus is transmitted so I know what kinds of precautions I need to take. Information about how the virus is likely to be transmitted has changed over time. Surface transmission is now thought to be a less likely route. This means that getting the virus from touching a surface that has the virus on it, while possible, is not the main route of getting COVID-19. Droplet trasmission continues to be the most common way people get sick. Droplets are expelled when we cough, sneeze, sing or yell and, to a lesser degree, during normal talking. This is why masks are so important. Transmission through breathing (rather than coughing or sneezing) is called “aerosol transmission” (see this article for some good info: https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/16/coronavirus-can-become-aerosol-doesnt-mean-doomed/). You will see in the article that there have been some documented cases of it becoming an aerosol. Here is an article published 3/18/20 that shows that there may be conditions where the virus can linger in the air for up to 3 hours (https://www.biospace.com/article/novel-coronavirus-is-stable-on-surfaces-for-hours-days-nih-study-finds/). The levels of aerosol can accumulate in an office (like mine) over the course of the day such that people seen later in the day may be more at risk of aerosol transmission.
For this reason I run a HEPA air purifier that removes particles as small as .2 microns from room air. The purifier I use exchanges room air at least once every 45 minutes so clients are never breathing air that was expelled by another person. Additionally I am venting my room using a pedestal rotating fan in between appointments (I leave a minimum 15 minute window between clients). If you are particularly concerned about aerosol transmission I recommend asking to be scheduled as the first client of the day.
The decision around masking in therapy is certainly a difficult one. Facial expressions are an important part of human to human communication. I need to see client’s faces and I also believe that clients benefit from seeing my face/expressions in relation to what they are sharing with me. Because this is a difficult cost/benefit analysis I am asking that each client assess their preference on wearing a mask or having me wear one. When clients request me to do so I am happy to wear an N-95 mask that is capable of filtering out coronavirus particles. Clients are of course welcome to wear their own masks if they choose. If clients prefer not to mask, or to have me not mask I am comfortable with either.
I am also monitoring myself for symptoms including taking my temperature twice a day. Of course we know that you can transmit this virus while still not having any symptoms so this is not a perfect precaution. I am personally avoiding all non-essential travel and non-essential group activities to reduce the likelihood that I would acquire the virus myself.
At this time I am still offering in-person appointments so long as you do not have any health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, immune compromise, etc), are under the age of 60, have not traveled to an outbreak area in the past 2 weeks and are currently symptom-free.I am also offering video sessions or phone calls for clients who do not meet these criteria yet still prefer to stay at home.
Again, if you prefer to be seen via video conferencing or via phone call I am happy to provide those services.