Response to COVID-19
May 27, 2020 Update
In line with the announcement made by Premier McNeil today, Shoreline plans to resume some in-person services on June 5th. We are currently completing our formal plan.
Our College - the Nova Scotia College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists - is awaiting approval from the DHW of their guidance document to registrants. Once this has been received, Shoreline will finalize its plans.
We will be posting our detailed plan shortly.
We are still offering services through telepractice now and after June 5th.
May 20, 2020 Update
As described by Dr. Strang in recent press conferences, the Public Health Department is currently consulting with various sectors to prepare for the gradual reopening of health services and the economy. This consultation process includes regulated health professionals such as speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The Nova Scotia College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists - the College that regulates the practice of SLPs in Nova Scotia - has been included in these consultations.
Based on communications from our College, the direction of the NS Department of Health and Wellness, and guidance from Health Canada, Shoreline is making preparations for resuming in-person services (as appropriate) in order to be ready for this phase of the province re-opening. We do not have any dates yet to expect this re-opening, but we are closely monitoring updates from Public Health. We are currently developing our implementation plan to best protect our clients and staff. We are in the process of developing our processes for screening, maintaining 6' of distancing, elevated infection prevention and control practices (e.g., cleaning), and other safeguards. We are also in the process of securing supplies of appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g., masks, gloves), hand sanitizer, and hard surface disinfectants.
It is important to understand that even once our sector is permitted to resume in-person services, that we are expected to continue to provide services through telepractice as a first choice. In-person services will only be provided when telepractice is not a feasible option (whether for therapeutic or technological reasons). If you have any questions, please contact your clinician or the Clinical Coordinator.
March 22, 2020 Update
On March 22, our province declared a state of emergency and shortly after mandated the closure of all non-urgent (e.g., emergency care) in-person services by regulated health professionals - this includes speech-language pathologists. Shoreline is thus suspending all in-person visits at this time. Telepractice services will be available as appropriate. For more information about telepractice, click here.
March 19, 2020 Update
Thank you to all of our clients who have participated in increased infection control procedures and physical distancing in the clinic. Also, to those who have promptly communicated their plans to suspend their appointments to practice physical/social distancing and/or self-isolation. Your cooperation and communication is greatly appreciated. It helps our staff to continue to provide services to those with the most pressing needs and to protect our own families.
Our waiting room looks a little different these days. We've replaced our fabric chairs with plastic ones for better disinfecting and the seats are spaced out 6' for distancing (with the exception of a pair for couples or children accompanied by parents). The main doors are being left open so that visitors don't need to touch the door handle. The toys in the waiting room have been removed. Visits are being scheduled further apart. We have our disinfecting supplies and have elevated our routine practices. Other professionals are working from home or have been able to switch to telepractice. We've introduced telepractice for clients when it's appropriate. A number of our clients are suspending their services to practice physical distancing or choosing to switch to telepractice. These measures are helping us to continue to support the needs of our clients.
It is anticipated that the government of Nova Scotia will soon provide further direction to the group of regulated health professionals that includes speech-language pathologists.
Our team is currently setting up to be able to provide remote services. This may include providing sessions through telehealth platforms (videoconferencing for health professionals) and/or supporting parents to provide home programming.
March 15, 2020 Update
We are continuing our routine practices for infection prevention and control including disinfecting work surfaces and toys after sessions and practicing good hand hygiene (e.g., using hand sanitizer before, during, and after sessions). In addition to these regular practices, we have increased the frequency of disinfecting common surfaces in the Professional Centre such as doorknobs, chairs, and table surfaces. We are also asking all clients to sanitize their hands at appointments.
Shoreline’s staff, students, and volunteers are all expected to follow the recommendations of Health Canada and the Nova Scotia Health Authority concerning self-isolation. At this time, none of our staff will be travelling outside of Nova Scotia. Regardless, if a staff member must self-isolate due to exposure, we will do our best to provide coverage with another clinician when it is appropriate. Please note that this will not be possible in all cases.
If you are planning on travelling outside of Canada or need to self-isolate, we appreciate your prompt communication so that we can plan together accordingly.
We appreciate your cooperation with these precautions to protect the health of our clients and staff and our ability to continue to provide services. If you have any questions, please speak with your clinician or the Clinical Coordinator.