As of yesterday, the COVID-19 positivity rate for our state rose from below 3% where it had been for the previous 23 straight days to 3.9%. The actual number of new cases is on the rise at what seems to be a more alarming number, but this is also a reflection of the fact that our state is routinely testing more than 30,000 people per day. Please keep in mind that this is likely to be the ongoing nature of being in the State of Illinois Phase 4 plan. As things open up, there will undoubtedly be a higher rate of positivity. I am asking for the help of all staff and families served by NWBHS to continue doing our part in keeping the rate of infection low by following the CDC recommended guidelines for social distancing, wearing masks when appropriate, washing hands frequently, and most importantly staying home/keeping your family members home if there are any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, we have drastically reduced the flow of people into the practice by moving to telehealth for any appointments which could be accomplished by these means. We have also restricted access to the building to only people who are directly involved in treatment. The front door is locked and patients must remain in their vehicle and contact their clinician to let them know they are here. Each day all who enter the building are required to have their temperature taken and attest that they do not have symptoms such as fever, headache, sneezing, coughing or runny nose. Face coverings are required (unless medically contraindicated) and social distancing is maintained when possible. We have also been spacing out in-person appointments and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces frequently throughout the day.
A few new safety measures are being put into place. First, additional deep cleaning will be performed at the end of each treatment day. Second, we will be taking temperatures and completing a symptoms checklist every 3 hours. Third, we have purchased medical grade air purifiers for each treatment room currently in use that can filter particles smaller than COVID-19. Fourth, we are temporarily suspending delivery of food to the practice. Please do not order food to be delivered to the office because this creates more traffic and we cannot be sure that the delivery drivers are following safety protocols.
Please remember to stay home/keep your child home if your child or anyone in your house has symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 or could create viral shedding (e.g., sneezing, coughing, runny nose).
If you have any further questions or concerns about how we are handling this crisis, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher D. Watson, Psy.D., ABPP
Owner, Northwest Behavioral Health Services, PC