COVID-19 Updates: April 7, 2020

April 07, 2020 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

A message from CALPCC's Executive Director, Kenneth Edwards:

Dear Colleagues,

As we are continuing the march through this unprecedented time, it is important to realize the importance of self-care, tending to the needs of those around us, and then tending to the needs of the communities we serve.

As an association, we have heard many great stories from across the State of California as our LPCCs, APCCs, Students, Educators, Retired counselors, and our supporters have rallies across the state at a moment's notice to help those in need. As essential workers during this time of crisis, LPCCs are at the front lines of responding to the mental health needs of our communities.

With all of the almost daily updates and changes at the national level regarding the pandemic, there have been many positive changes at the state level and from the Board of Behavioral Sciences. As we continue to learn more about the virus, Governor Newsom has worked to ensure that Californians continue to have access to mental health resources. This includes opening up and loosening some of the rules and regulations around licensing to guarantees of tele-therapy and creating paid spaces for LPCCs to gain employment.

CALPCC is working very diligently on a few items:

- We are applying for additional waivers from the Board of Behavioral Sciences and Department of Consumer Affairs on behalf of our licensees including:

  • Those associates that work in private practice that need to      bsupervised by tele-means so that they can continue to earn much needed hours
  • Those potential licensees that are moving from outside of the state and are mostly through the licensing process
  • Those students that need to earn hours to complete their degree programs
  • Those who are not yet licensed fully as LPCCs, but that fit in a limbo space between having earned their hours and need to take the NCMHCE

- We are working with the other sibling professions on making sure each of our “levels” of licensure are taken care of appropriately and addressed in any BBS guidance.

We are ensuring that you are connected to resources provided by the local, state, and federal governments (see resources below).

  • We are pulling together resources regarding Ethics, Tele-therapy, and your practice.
  • We are pulling together resources for Volunteer and Work programs across the state.

    While we work to try to cover all of the bases, we may miss some things as directives and guidance are being handed down from multiple sources. If you come across something that we may have missed or that you would like to share with your other colleagues across the state, please let us know at info@calpcc.org. We also thank you for your patience in responding to any questions or concerns. We are a small, but mighty team and will get back to you as soon as we have an answer.

    Make sure you follow us @calpcc on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more up to minute updates. 

    Thank you for your continued support of CALPCC. If you are not a member with us or would like to renew your membership and would like to help support our efforts, please check out our membership page.

    Be well,
    The CALPCC Team

    Below are a list of links, articles, updates, and other resources that are available for you during this time:

    Board of Behavioral Sciences Updates



    This explains the waivers enacted by the Governor: https://www.dca.ca.gov/licensees/dca_waivers.shtml

    This link will go through any FAQs. CALPCC is currently applying for waivers for the groups listed above in the email. Please email us if we missed a group of special situation. The waivers are NOT guaranteed to be approved and are simply being applied for at this time.  https://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/bbs_wavier_faqs.pdf 


    State of California News


    Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order to Expand Telehealth Services 

    Order allows health care providers to use video chats and applications to provide health services without risk of penaltyOrder aligns with federal Health and Human Services guidelines and waivers issued in response to COVID-19. 

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to expand protections to medical providers as they amplify the use of video chats and similar applications to provide routine and non-emergency medical appointments in an effort to minimize patient exposure to COVID-19. 

    The order relaxes certain state privacy and security laws for medical providers, so they can provide telehealth services without the risk of being penalized. This action is similar to the federal HHS Office for Civil Rights waiver issued on March 17, 2020 regarding federal privacy and security laws. 

    “This order provides flexibility to our medical and health providers so that they are able to provide continuity of health services to people across the state, and will allow providers to assess a greater number of patients while limiting the risk of exposure and infection of other persons from in-person consultations,” said Governor Newsom. 

    Governor Newsom continues to encourage people to practice safe physical distancing and to comply with stay-at-home orders to bend the COVID-19 curve.

    A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.

    Governor Newsom Announces California Health Corps, a Major Initiative to Expand Health Care Workforce to Fight COVID-19 

    Governor signs executive order to expand health care workforce and staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds needed for the COVID-19 surgeMedical doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, behavioral health scientists, pharmacists, EMTs, medical and administrative assistants, certified nursing assistants all needed

    Governor Newsom: “If you have a background in health care, we need your help. Sign up at healthcorps.ca.gov

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today launched a major new initiative to expand California’s health care workforce and recruit health care professionals to address the COVID-19 surge. Health care professionals with an active license, public health professionals, medical retirees, medical and nursing students, or members of medical disaster response teams in California are all encouraged to join the new California Health Corps.

    Interested medical and health care professionals are encouraged to visit healthcorps.ca.gov for more information and to register for the California Health Corps. Medical doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, behavioral health scientists, pharmacists, EMTs, medical and administrative assistants, as well as certified nursing assistants are encouraged to step up and meet this moment to help California respond to the outbreak.

    The Governor also signed an executive order that will temporarily expand the health care workforce and allow health care facilities to staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds the state needs to treat COVID-19 patients. A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.

    “California’s health care workers are the heroes of this moment, serving on the front lines in the fight against this disease. To treat the rising number of patients with COVID-19, our state needs more workers in the health care field to join the fight. If you have a background in health care, we need your help. Sign up at healthcorps.ca.gov,” said Governor Newsom.

    "Outreach to unemployed health care workers and under-employed foreign medical graduates will help build the workforce needed to fight the pandemic — and also create new opportunities and jobs for Californians struggling with unemployment," said California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su.

    “California must continue to prepare our health care delivery system and make sure it has every resource to respond to a potential surge in COVID-19 patients. California’s most valuable resource is its people and I join the Governor in calling on all medical professionals to join the fight against COVID-19,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

    More ways for Californians to support their communities and request assistance are outlined on the California Volunteers website serve.ca.gov. For more information on the state’s response to COVID-19, visit covid19.ca.gov.

    Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.

    From the Office of Senator Kamala Harris

    Information on direct cash payments, CARES Act, an other unemployment/underemployment resources: https://www.harris.senate.gov/coronavirus 

    General California COVID 19 Updates

    https://www.gov.ca.gov/california-takes-action-to-combat-covid-19/ 


    Federal Government Resources

    United States Department of Treasury - CARES Act

    Look here to find resources on supporting your private practice or agency during this time. Be sure to apply as soon as possible: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses


    Small Business Administration – Read more about CARES Act Resources:
    https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources



    Local Response Opportunities

    The City and County of San Francisco Emergency Volunteer Center

    The City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) expects a significant uptick in the number of COVID-19 patients. In response, DPH is planning a variety of non-hospital response efforts that will require the assistance of volunteer licensed medical professionals.

    Read here to learn more: https://sfdhr.org/city-and-county-san-francisco-emergency-volunteer-center 




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