Type: COVID-19

March 16, 2020

 Please read below for new important update information for Registrants.

  1. Precautions to take when providing client services in person

With regard to client services, members are encouraged to consider the following measures at this time:

  • Screening clients over the phone before scheduling or confirming appointments for any symptoms and travel history that may be related to COVID-19;
  • Asking clients with fever, cough or difficulty breathing to make appropriate alternate arrangements for appointments, including distance appointments or rescheduling appointments for a later date, if clinically appropriate
  • Posting signs in reception area identifying concerning symptoms and asking clients to identify themselves if they are experiencing any of them;
  • Relaxing appointment rescheduling and cancellation policies until such time that risk has passed, e.g. by waiving cancellation fees;
  • Making tissues, a garbage can, and hand sanitizer (or a handwashing station) available in your setting;
  • Ensuring high-touch surfaces (such as doorknobs, light switches, phones and sink faucets) are cleaned with a disinfectant regularly, or even between client appointments;
  • Engaging in proper handwashing technique between sessions with clients; and,
  • Seeking medical care early if you yourself are experiencing symptoms and providing your health provider with information about travel.
  1. Telepsychology information

 Many registrants are considering providing services to their clients through telephone and online services to protect their clients and themselves. The College has posted  checklists on Telepsychology and Telepsychology Assessment which provide general guidance to assist registrants in identifying issues and options that should be considered, and implementing strategies to address issues, resolve problems and improve practice, with respect to this aspect of psychology practice.  These checklists were developed under the aegis of the Quality Assurance Committee and the Practice Support Service.

Registrants may also find it is helpful to review the 2016 CPBC AGM presentation of Dr. Christine Korol “Safely Integrating Technology Into Your Practice” for helpful information about using these technologies in practice. That presentation is available through the Registrant Portal of the CPBC website.  In addition to the AGM presentation, Dr. Korol has informed us that she’s recently uploaded relevant videos to her YouTube channel which some registrants may find of use:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcr2iDM-W6Yuw0Fc5KSy1Gg

As always, the CPBC Practice Support Service is available to Registrants for assistance in considering new aspects of practice in both general and specific contexts. Please feel free to contact Practice Support:

By telephone: (604) 736-6164 (or toll free in BC at 1-800-665-0979), option 4

By facsimile: (604) 736-6133

By email: practicesupport@collegeofpsychologists.bc.ca 

  1. Other Professional Resources Regarding COVID-19 

Both the Canadian Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association offer helpful information and links to resources regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the practice of psychologists and their clients.

  1. Additional Government Sources of Information About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

An important resource for information about COVID-19 for all BC health practitioners is the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website, which offers guidance to health professionals on COVID-19 that is updated on an ongoing basis. The Public Health Agency of Canada website also has detailed information on COVID-19 for health professionals, including the interim national case definition for coronavirus disease.

The BCCDC website provides guidance on infection control as well as guidance to those needing medical care, advising that anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their primary care provider or call 811. If a patient/client is concerned about potential exposure or is experiencing symptoms, ask them if they have taken the above steps. If not, encourage them to make the call immediately and follow medical advice. For those requiring urgent care, for example chest pains or difficulty breathing, the number to call is, as always, 911.

  1. College Hours of Operation

 As of March 17th, the CPBC will be operating on a work-from-home basis, with a minimum number of staff attending the office in person to manage essential services. At this time, we appreciate your support and patience when requiring CPBC services.

  1. Questions about COVID-19?

In addition to calling 8-1-1, the BC Government has established another dedicated phone line which is 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).  You can also send a text to 604-630-0300.