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COVID-19 RESPONSE 

[Updated March 22, 2020]

Virtual webinar:  COVID-19 and your Clinical Practice 

with Executive Director, Kenneth Edwards

Friday, March 27th, 12-1pm

 

[Updated March 17, 2020]

At CALPCC we are working to keep up with the fast changes that are happening in the State when it comes to the Coronavirus Pandemic. From time to time in the coming days, you will receive some communications from us that are updates from the agencies that we partner with.

There have been many questions about what the associations (LPCC,LMFT, and NASW) are doing about tele-therapy. CALPCC has signed on to several letters that are asking Governor Newsom to ensure that tele-therapy can be completed in most cases with the appropriate reimbursement. We will keep you updated as we know more. Please scroll below to see a variety of updates. 

News from Kim Madsen at the BBS regarding testing:

Our testing vendor, Pearson Vue, announced that effective March 17th, 2020 and continuing until April 16, 2020, all Pearson Vue owned examination sites will be closed due the concerns related to the COVID-19. The Pearson Vue owned sites are the only sites we use for BBS examinations. Pearson Vue will contact the scheduled candidates to provide them notification and instructions regarding scheduling appointments after April 16.

BBS will work with all examination candidates to ensure that they remain eligibility to test and are able to continue to work. Please click here for more information.

News from our Lobbyist, GV Ayers:

Yesterday, the Governor issued an advisory urging those over the age of 65 and anyone with a chronic disease to isolate themselves until further notice.  The Governor’s directive also asked for the closure of all bars, brewpubs and wineries and directed restaurants to reduce their capacity by 50% (Although the Governor now says no restaurant service inside the restaurant) and offer take-out and curbside ordering.  While these directives are not enforceable by law, the Governor could use executive authority to mandate them if the directives are not followed.   This afternoon, six SF Bay Area counties have imposed a 3-week “shelter in place” policy for all residents, regardless of age.  Only essential businesses will remain open in those counties during this time. 

Late this afternoon, the Governor asked the Legislature to allow for emergency legislation (budget bills) to be considered in order to respond to the pandemic.  The bill (SB 89) will increase hospital capacity, bed capacity, childcare facilities, will purchase hotels and motels to deal with those affected, including individuals, non-profits, small businesses – appropriating $500M and up to $1B in general funds to achieve those goals.  SB 115 will focus on supporting public and charter schools, childcare services, and sanitizing school sites.  Both houses approved these measures and they will be sent to the Governor’s desk tonight.  The Senate passed Resolution 86, allowing for Senate administrative procedure changes during emergencies, and allow for standing committees to convene remotely, if necessary. 

Just moments ago, the Senate & Assembly adjourned for an extended recess and will reconvene after Easter on Monday, April 13th.  This recess could be extended if necessary.  Of course, the recess will delay bill hearings that were scheduled in the next 30 days and perhaps this action will require adjusting legislative deadlines to account for the many bills that will need to be heard in committee this spring.  Legislators, staff and the Administration will still engage in legislative and district business but that work will likely be conducted remotely or outside of the Capitol building.  Understanding everyone is affected by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, if there’s anything I can do to help or an important issue needs to be raised, please let me know at info@calpcc.org

Click here to view the State’s Directive/Guidance to Fight COVID-19 that might be useful for your family and for members.

Click here to hear from the Centers for Disease Control

Click here to hear the latest update from the Board of Behavioral Sciences regarding Telehealth

From the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services:

OCR Announces Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

This exercise of discretion applies to widely available communications apps, such as FaceTime or Skype, when used in good faith for any telehealth treatment or diagnostic purpose, regardless of whether the telehealth service is directly related to COVID-19.

In support of this action, OCR will be providing further guidance explaining how covered health care providers can use remote video communication products and offer telehealth to patients responsibly.

"We are empowering medical providers to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency," said Roger Severino, OCR Director. "We are especially concerned about reaching those most at risk, including older persons and persons with disabilities," Severino added.

The Notification of Enforcement Discretion on Telehealth remote communications may be found here

For more information on HIPAA and COVID-19, see OCR's February 2020 Bulletin may be found here

Health IT Security Article can be found here

COVID-19 rESPONSE

[updated March 15, 2020]

CALPCC operates with the view that the individual, family and larger society are all important in the development and resolution of problems, including the Coronavirus Pandemic. We are deeply concerned about all of our members and the communities we serve during this pandemic and we are dedicated to doing all that we can to help. Our mission as an organization and our service-orientation address the individual, family and society using culturally responsive methods that promote well-being and reflect our commitment to high standards of service, training, and supervision. We are committed to supporting our members in providing service with integrity that promotes the well-being of all of our diverse community members. We also have a strong belief in a feedback-informed culture, which is why we would greatly appreciate any feedback that our members have related to the pandemic.

CALPCC also does not condone any harassment or violence against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community. This virus impacts communities of all races and ethnicities. We hope that our membership joins us in combating any disparaging messages and actions against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community as we move forward together to keep each other healthy and safe.

Here are some precautions we can take to keep the transmission of the virus to a minimum:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is also ok to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your face. This means not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Keep sick children home from daycare or school.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. If you use a tissue, wash your hands afterward.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home and office. This means doorknobs, light switches, door handles, drawer pulls, office chairs, water machines, desks, lamps, etc.
  • Manage your stress, sleep well, eat healthy foods, and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Consider staying away from large public gatherings and crowded spaces.

For those in practice:

  • Consider teletherapy through any number of HIPAA Compliant software programs.
  • Avoid hugging or shaking hands with clients in the office. Consider an elbow bump or verbal greeting.
  • If possible, sit 3-6 ft away during a session.
  • Regularly sanitize your office setting and wash hands.
  • If your clients are sick or appear to be sick, send them home and encourage them to utilize tele-therapy.
  • Encourage clients to take similar precautions when out in public.

Also, remember the high-risk populations:

  • Those over 60 years of age,
  • Those that are immuno-compromised,
  • Those that are pregnant,
  • Those that have traveled outside of the country in the last two weeks.

Please see the communication from the BBS about COVID-19 and rules regarding telehealth.

At this time, CALPCC will be canceling all public regional events until further notice. This includes regional networking activities, Continuing Education seminars or events, and other social activities. Please stay tuned to CALPCC Social Media, your email, and our website for updates.

For more information, please visit these sites below to learn the latest about COVID-19:

We also recognize that this time may lead to additional emotional and financial stress for families. Below are resources that may be of assistance:

At CALPCC we are committed to your safety and understand the pressures that this may cause in terms of interruptions in practice, interruptions to your clients, and a general sense of anxiety that this may bring.

Be kind to one another during this time, reach out and check on your colleagues, friends, and family, and follow the appropriate steps in staying healthy.

Be well,
The CALPCC Team and the CALPCC Board of Directors

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