This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure for both patients and the practitioners within our clinical setting. Here, we identify the actions that we (Flourish naturopathic doctors) commit to, and that all visiting patients must commit to, in order to resume in-person consultations. The main aspects of the plan include: self-assessment and screening requirements, physical distancing protocol, enhanced cleaning, hand hygiene and appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment.
Ongoing Self-Assessment and Pre-Screening Requirements:
1. Ongoing Self-Assessment
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. An in-person appointment MUST be converted to a virtual appointment or canceled immediately if either the patient or naturopathic doctor (ND) presents with new onset of even mild symptoms that may be signs of COVID-19 including: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or pain with swallowing, runny nose/sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, decrease or loss of sense of smell or taste, chills, unexplained or unusual headache, unexplained fatigue/malaise. COVID-19 symptoms may range from mild to severe. Patients are required to stay away from the clinic if they experience what they determine to be “just the sniffles” or “feeling under the weather” on the day of their appointment.
IF YOU ARE UNWELL, please let your ND know immediately to determine if you need to be rescheduled or converted to a virtual appointment. There will be no cancellation fees due to illness. See below for how to reach your ND.
As Naturopathic Doctors, we CANNOT diagnose or treat COVID-19. If you feel unwell with symptoms such as those above, please follow the recommendations of our public health authorities and refer to the BC CDC self-assessment tool here.
We will also be using BC’s Online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool regularly to assess our own health. In the event that the ND is unwell, they will cancel your appointment immediately, self-isolate and follow Public Health directives.
2. COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire
For each in-person appointment you are required to complete a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire that will be sent to you by email in the 24-hr period before your appointment.
When your ND comes to collect you for your appointment you will again be asked to verbally update as to your health status before entry into the clinic.
3. Updated Consent Form
In the current environment of COVID-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient be informed and understand that:
- Visiting the clinic involves some risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- Your ND is following protocol to help reduce or mitigate risk where possible, but that the risk cannot be reduced to zero.
- Your naturopathic doctor is not able to prevent or treat COVID-19.
- There will be a new consent form each client will be required to sign before resuming in-person care.
Our enhanced cleaning protocols follow guidelines set out by the BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines. We will be disinfecting all common areas, high-touch surfaces, treatment tables, computers, chairs in between clients. We will be following a cleaning checklist and scheduling extra time between clients for this cleaning. We will be using products approved by Health Canada for use against COVID-19 for this cleaning. All linens (including sheets, blankets, and pillowcases) are single-use only and will be laundered using high heat and detergent between each use.
5. Hand Hygiene
We will be following recommended hand hygiene protocols.
There will be hand sanitizer provided for you at our clinic, as well as soap and water available for handwashing. You will be asked to clean your hands using one of these methods upon entry into the clinic. Please bring your own hand sanitizer if you’d prefer to use your own.
6. Personal Protective Equipment
Both ND and the patient will be required to wear a clean mask for each appointment. Please arrive wearing a clean mask (cloth or disposable) that covers both your nose and mouth for the duration of your time in the clinic.
Gloves – gloves are also considered appropriate but not required. We will wear gloves for a physical examination. For acupuncture and Bowen therapy, gloves will be worn at the patient’s request.
7. Physical Distancing
There is a new clinic protocol to discontinue the use of the waiting areas in order to reduce the number of people in the clinic at the same time and to minimize interactions with other people. Your ND will meet you outside the back door of the clinic (in the parking lot behind the clinic) and will escort you to the treatment room. If you require the use of the elevator, please notify your ND and they will meet you at the front door.
8. Other important points to note:
Washroom use: please use the washroom before coming to your appointment and only use the public washroom if absolutely necessary. It will be sanitized after every use.
It is not possible to maintain perfect physical distancing while in the treatment room. For this reason, both the ND and the patient will be wearing a mask at all times.
Please bring your own water, if required, to your appointment.
For details about In-Office Visit Protocol, Booking and Billing please read our article Important Flourish Naturopathic Updates
If you have any specific concerns please let your ND know at the time of booking.
How to contact your ND:
Dr. Alexis Blanks: firstname.lastname@example.org, 250-880-0752
Dr. Shannon Sarrasin: email@example.com, 250-884-3825