• Facebook
AdobeStock_333039083.jpeg

COVID - 19

What Chitter Chatter P.C. is Doing to Keep You Safe

Chitter Chatter, P.C. introduces these workplace guidelines as part of its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chitter takes seriously the safety of its employees and community and implements this policy to promote the health of each. Managers and employees are responsible for knowing the contents of this plan and should practice each guideline in their day-to-day activities. Our goal is to reduce the risk of transmission and mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 virus, and cooperative effort best positions us to accomplish this goal. 


Chitter Chatter will monitor the continuously evolving public health guidelines issued by local, state, and federal health authorities, and may amend this policy accordingly. Chitter Chatter further designates front desk staff as a worksite supervisor(s). The worksite supervisor will remain on premises when any employees are on site. The worksite supervisor will ensure implementation of these policies, monitor the implementation and workplace conditions, and will report to management on the implementation of this policy and workplace conditions. 


Chitter Chatter will record: the results of screening procedures outlined in this policy; training offered to employees under this policy; and reports furnished to local health authorities regarding confirmed COVID-19 infections.

About COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), COVID-19 is a virus that is spread person to person. The CDC notes the virus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets produced by infected persons, but that it may also spread through objects contaminated by respiratory droplets of infected persons. 


According to the CDC symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, repeated chills with shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste and smell. The CDC warns that certain individuals are at heightened risk of severe illness. These individuals include those 65 and
older, and individuals of any age with chronic lung disease, asthma, serious heart conditions, a body mass index over 40, diabetes, chronic liver disease, and immune compromised individuals.

On Site Employees

Generally

During the COVID-19 pandemic Chitter Chatter will reduce the number of individuals on worksite locations to the greatest extent possible. The Human Resource department will individually advise employees if they are expected to work from home. Chitter Chatter encourages flexible hours for those employees working from home. Flexible hours allow our employees to manage at-home duties while also remaining productive.

Critical Infrastructure Workers

Businesses which employ critical infrastructure workers may continue operations, provided public health guidelines are followed. Because Chitter Chatter provides therapeutic services, certain Chitter Chatter employees are critical infrastructure workers including office staff, behavior technicians, clinical supervisors, etc.

Basic Operations

Employees who are necessary to the basic operations of a business may also return to on site work. These are workers whose presence is strictly necessary to allow the business to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, ensure site security, process transactions, and facilitate the telework of other employees. Chitter Chatter employees who perform these tasks are necessary to the basic operations of Chitter Chatter and may be required to perform in-person duties.

Resumed Activity Workers

Employees of resumed activities may return to on-site work. Because Chitter Chatter employs individuals who provide therapeutic services, certain Chitter Chatter employees are considered resumed activity workers.

 

 

Employee Notification

Chitter Chatter employees who are either critical infrastructure workers or necessary for basic operations may be notified of their status by writing. This may include email or another electronic communication to the employee.

Workplace Hygiene 

Workplace Screening

Chitter Chatter will implement screening procedures to detect potential COVID-19 cases via Goodthinker’s COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire software. No person may enter a Chitter Chatter facility without completing the screening procedure. This policy includes both employees and clients. Chitter Chatter will restrict access to entrances other than those with a screening checkpoint. The screening procedure will at a minimum: evaluate the temperature of an individual, ask about any symptoms, and ask about any potential exposure to individuals with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Information learned during the screening will remain confidential and will not be placed in employee personnel records.


Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever 

  • Cough 

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Sore throat 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Loss of taste or smell

Safe Work and Personal Hygiene Practices

Personal hygiene is a critical element in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, employees working on site must adopt the following personal practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

 

  • ​Any visitor to a Chitter Chatter facility must wear a face mask prior to entry. Chitter Chatter will install signs to remind visitors that a face mask is required to gain entry. Clients will be required to wear a face mask when deemed clinically appropriate.   

                       -  Chitter Chatter office managers will conduct regular, random checks to ensure the compliance of the mask policy. Those                                  not within compliance will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.​

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing. Employees should wash their hands with soap and water, thoroughly scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. At a minimum, employees should wash their hands at the start of each shift, before and after meals, and after using the restroom.

  • Where frequent handwashing is not practical, employees should use hand sanitizing gel or rubs. The alcohol content of these products should be at least 60%.

  • Practice respiratory etiquette. Coughs and sneezes should be covered, preferably by coughing or sneezing into an elbow and not into the hands. Employees should thoroughly wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.

  • Avoid touching objects used by others, such as phones, tools, workspaces, or desks. Where the sharing of objects is necessary, employees should disinfect the shared object. • Employees and clients should never ingest or consume disinfectant products, under any circumstances.

  • Avoid touching the face to the greatest extent possible.

  • Clean and disinfect workstations using disposable towels 

  • Face masks must fit snugly on the face, covering the mouth and nose.

Social Distancing Practices

Chitter Chatter employees should adopt the following social distancing practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other employees and individuals when possible.  This includes sitting apart from one another in rest areas, therapy areas, or any other office space. In shared treatment rooms, staff will ensure that they as well as their clients are seated 6 feet apart in the room. If needed, floor markings will be added to help staff know where their approximate area limits are in any particular room

  • Clients and third-party representatives should not visit Chitter Chatter sites if not strictlyrequired.

  • Meetings with parents or other third-party persons will be conducted via Zoom • To limit the amount of traffic entering Chitter Chatter facilities, the pick-up/drop off policy is as follows: 

- Drop Off:

  • Complete the daily Goodthinker COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire 

  •  Call the office to let the behavior technician know that you have arrived. ▪ Stay in your car. We ask that you wear a mask during this transition. 

  • Your behavior technician or other trained staff will come to your car. 

  • Before unbuckling your child, the behavior technician will come to the driver’s window and have you sign your child into services. 

  • The behavior technician will then take your child’s temperature using a no contact thermometer. 

  • The behavior technician or other staff member will then help your child out of the car and into the building. 

  Pick Up:

  •  Call the office to let the behavior technician know that you have arrived. ▪ Stay in your car. We ask that you wear a mask during this transition. 

  • Your behavior technician or trained staff will come to your car. 

  • When you see your child please step out of the car to buckle child into car (the behavior technician is not permitted to help with this task). 

  • Once child is buckled then sign your child out on the clip board provided.

  • Video or telephone communications should be used for meetings, even when all participants are at the same Chitter Chatter facility. 

  • Employees should stagger breaks and lunches to minimize the number of employees in rest areas at any given time or take breaks in office spaces where other individuals are not within 6 feet. 

  •  Sensory room visits will be allotted 15-minute intervals, with no more than two clients and two technicians at the same time. Employees and clients in the sensory room will be expected to maintain 6 feet distance between any other staff or clients. If not possible, only one technician and one client will be allowed in the sensory room for the 15-minute period. 

  • Employees should not carpool to the workplace unless they are a part of the same household. 

Social Distancing Practices

Chitter Chatter enacts the following environmental controls to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Where possible Chitter Chatter will install physical barriers between workstations that cannot be moved more than six feet apart, such as permanently affixed equipment.  Where possible Chitter Chatter will install physical barriers at point of service between customers and employees, such as reception. 

  • Employees should not carpool to the workplace unless they are a part of the same household. 

  • Chitter Chatter will supply personal protective equipment and hand sanitizing products.  This includes face masks and shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other PPE ordinarily required at Chitter Chatter. 

  • Chitter Chatter will increase the frequency and thoroughness of workplace sanitation. In particular in common areas, and commonly touched objects such as door handles, faucets, equipment control panels, phones, railings, and other high touch surfaces. 

  • Chitter Chatter will install visible markings to illustrate six-foot spacings in areas of congregation. This may include marking waiting rooms, common areas, rest areas, treatment rooms, and the area around the sign in sheets. 

  • Provision of no touch waste disposal bins. 

  • Chitter Chatter will provide hand sanitizer at patient entrances. Employees will be given two Chitter Chatter reusable cloth face masks. Employees will be required to come to work prepared with this mask. 

  • Comply with OSHA regulations that would otherwise apply to Chitter Chatter.

Chitter Chatter Administrative Controls

Chitter Chatter enacts the following administrative guidelines to minimize the transmission risk of COVID-19: 

  • Chitter Chatter will provide hand sanitizer at patient entrances. Employees will be given two Chitter Chatter reusable cloth face masks. Employees will be required to come to work prepared with this mask. 

  • Employees able to telework or provide telehealth services all or part of the time must do so.  Chitter Chatter encourages flexible working times in order to promote teleworking. • Shift times and workweek length may be adjusted in order to reduce the number of employees present in Chitter Chatter facilities as instructed and confirmed by the Human Resource department.

  •  Chitter Chatter requires employees who are sick or are experiencing symptoms of COVID 19 to stay home. 

  • Employees who are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will be required to quarantine for a minimum 10 days or provide medical documentation clearing them to work. 

  • Symptomatic employees must contact the Human Resource Department regarding their situation and inform their supervisors of their leave. 

  • If the employee quarantines, the employee will be able to return to work once the Human Resource department receives medical documentation regarding the employee’s ability to resume in person work. 

  • Chitter Chatter requires employees who have been exposed to another individual with COVID-19 to stay home.

  • Employees who have been exposed will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days or provide two negative nasopharyngeal swab tests collected more than 24 hours apart. Employees will be expected to utilize teletherapy when appropriate and at the discretion of the employee’s direct supervisor. 

  • Exposed individuals must contact the Human Resource department to evaluate the appropriateness of quarantine to ensure quarantine criteria has been met. 

  • Note, this is not applicable to individuals who have tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 90 days. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact tracing/contact-tracing-plan/contact-tracing.html) 

  • Chitter Chatter will monitor the guidelines issued by public health authorities and amend this policy as necessary to promote public health. 

  • Chitter Chatter will provide up to date education on hygiene in the workplace. Supervisors will train employees and clients/families on: 

  •  The workplace infection control practices outlined in this policy.

  • The proper use of personal protective equipment. 

  • The proper reporting protocol outlined by this policy. 

  •  How to report unsafe working conditions. 

Chitter Chatter Administrative Controls

  •  Clients and/or families who are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will be required to quarantine for a minimum 10 days. Chitter Chatter will place the case on hold for the 10-day quarantine period. To avoid a 10-day quarantine, the client and/or family is able to provide medical documentation clearing them for services. 

  • Chitter Chatter requires clients and/or families who have been exposed to another individual with COVID-19 while within close contact to quarantine for a minimum 10- day quarantine hold. 

  • Services will be allowed to resume once the supervisor receives medical documentation clearing the client and all individuals within the home. 

  • If the client tests positive, the technicians assigned to the case will be required to quarantine for the 10-day period or provide two negative nasopharyngeal swab tests collected more than 24 hours apart. If quarantining, if by the 10th day the employee has not experienced symptoms, the employee is able to return to work.

  • Note, this is not applicable to individuals who have tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

  • If a technician tests positive, the case will be placed on a 10-day mandatory quarantine hold. 

  • While receiving services, we ask that the technician be assigned a therapeutic area that allows social distancing from all other individuals in the house.

Managing Illness

Responding to Illness 

  •  Employees should self-monitor for symptoms of illness and remain home if experiencing any symptoms. If an employee develops symptoms while in the workplace, the employee should leave the workplace and inform both the Human Resource department and their direct supervisor 

  • Employees should monitor themselves for symptoms for at least 14 days after coming into close contact with someone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more without a mask on. 

  • Critical infrastructure workers may remain in the workplace after a potential exposure. The individual must submit to daily COVID-19 screenings and must always wear a face mask without exception. The workspace around the potentially exposed employee will be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. If the potentially exposed critical infrastructure employee develops symptoms, the employee must leave the workplace, and may only return consistent with the Returning to Work After Sickness policy below.

  • Employees should inform Chitter Chatter if they test positive for or are suspected of carrying COVID-19, and Chitter Chatter will keep this notification confidential. However, Chitter Chatter will notify the local public health agency as required by law. 

  • Chitter Chatter will maintain a central log of all symptomatic cases, and of all positive COVID-19 cases in the workplace. 

  • Clients with whom the employee is scheduled to work with will be placed on a mandatory 10-day hold if the employee tests positive for COVID-19. 

  • Chitter Chatter will deep clean the workspace of any employee who tests positive or is suspected of carrying COVID-19. As a result, the affected therapy area will remain closed for 24 hours. 

  • Chitter Chatter will inform other employees that may have been exposed to the sick employee without identifying the sick employee if within close contact without a face mask. 

  • If exposed employee is able to work from home, the employee will do so during the 10-day quarantine period, as confirmed by the Human Resource department. If the employee is unable to work from home and is not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, a negative test result will suffice. 

  • Chitter Chatter will deep clean the building if a client is suspected of or confirmed to have COVID 19. This will be done after regular business hours. 

  • Because COVID-19 is a reportable illness, Chitter Chatter will inform OSHA if any employees test positive for COVID-19 where objective evidence, which is reasonably available to Chitter Chatter, demonstrates the employee contracted the illness in the workplace. 

  • Chitter Chatter may screen on-site employees for COVID-19. This may involve asking whether the employee has experienced COVID-19 symptoms and could include the use of a thermometer to detect fever. Employees with symptoms or a fever may be sent home and required to quarantine. 

  •  If an employee is able to work from home, the employee will do so during the 10- day quarantine period, as confirmed by the Human Resource department.

Returning to Work After Sickness 

Decisions about allowing a recovered employee will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the present health needs of the workplace. At a minimum, a recovered employee must meet one of two CDC guidelines before returning to on-site work: 

  • Test-based—An employee may be excluded from onsite work until resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, improvement of respiratory symptoms, and negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least two nasopharyngeal swab tests collected more than 24 hours apart. 

  • Non test-based—An employee may be excluded from onsite work until at least 72 hours since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms; and at least seven days have passed since the symptoms appeared. 

  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not show symptoms may be excluded from the workplace until at least 10 days since the positive test, provided no symptoms develop during the 10-day period. Alternatively, an asymptomatic individual may return to work after two negative FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay COVID-19 tests. 

  • Employees will be required to provide medical documentation to the Human Resource department clearing the employee to return to work. 

Upon returning to work, recovered employees should be particularly mindful of personal hygiene and social distancing practices. A recovered employee should wear a face mask at all times, and should self-monitor for symptoms. 

chitter.jpg

Chitter Chatter

Straight to Your Inbox