As of May, 2020, Premier Doug Ford lifted certain restrictions that were previously in place to help flatten the curve of COVID-19.
While the Ontario government has deemed all businesses that provide "health services, including mental health and addictions and counselling supports" as essential services, health professionals are also subject to the Chief Medical Officer directive requiring all non-essential health care services to be reduced to minimal levels. This directive explains that "allowable exceptions can be made for time-sensitive circumstances to avert or avoid negative patient outcomes or to avert or avoid a situation that would have a direct impact on the safety of patients."
The College of Registered Psychotherapists has advised that psychotherapists consider which services are essential on a case-by-case basis. We have been directed to move as much of our work online as possible to prevent the spread of infection unless there are instances where it is not appropriate to do so. Therefore, my hope is that patients and I will be able to work collaboratively to decide if in-person sessions are required or if online sessions are sufficient given that it continues to be the safer option at this time.
Here is what we are requiring from anyone attending in-person sessions at our Markham or Vaughan office:
• Please wait in your car until just a couple minutes before your appointment to avoid multiple people being in the lobby area at one time.
• You will be required to wear a mask in all of the common areas of the office. It is your choice to leave your mask on or off in-session.
• You will be asked to sanitize and/or wash your hands upon entering the office.
• At our Vaughan office, your temperature will be taken with an infrared thermometer.
• You will be asked to sign a form that confirms that you do not presently have—and have not had within the past 14 days—any symptoms of COVID-19.