MIDDLE PATH COUNSELING MO INFORMED CONSENT FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES DURING COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
This document contains important information about our decision (yours and mine) to resume in-person services in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Please read this carefully and let me know if you have any questions. When you sign this document, it will be an official agreement between us.
Decision to Meet Face-to-Face
We have agreed to meet in person for some or all future sessions. If there is a resurgence of the pandemic or if other health concerns arise, however, I may require that we meet via telehealth. If you have concerns about meeting through telehealth, we will talk about it first and try to address any issues. You understand that, if I believe it is necessary, I may determine that we return to telehealth for everyone’s well-being.
If you decide at any time that you would feel safer staying with, or returning to, telehealth services, I will respect that decision, as long as it is feasible and clinically appropriate.
Risks of Opting for In-Person Services
You understand that by coming to the office, you are assuming the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (or other public health risk). This risk may increase if you travel by public transportation, cab, or ridesharing service.
Your Responsibility to Minimize Your Exposure
To obtain services in person, you agree to take certain precautions which will help keep everyone (you, me, and our families, other therapists, and other clients) safer from exposure, sickness and possible death. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, it may result in our starting / returning to a telehealth arrangement. Initial each to indicate that you understand and agree to these actions:
- You will only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom free.
- You will take your temperature before coming to each appointment. If it is elevated (100 Fahrenheit or more), or if you have other symptoms of the coronavirus, you agree to cancel the appointment or proceed using telehealth.
- You will wait in your car or outside until your therapist contacts you that they are ready for you to come into the office to start your session (most likely at your scheduled session time). _
- You will wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you enter the building. _
- If for any reason you need to sit in the waiting room, you will adhere to the safe distancing precautions as best of your ability. For example, choosing not to sit directly next to another client whom you did not arrive with.
- You will keep a distance of 6 feet and there will be no physical contact (e.g. no shaking hands) with your therapist.
- If you are bringing your child, you will do your best to ensure that your child follows all of these sanitation and distancing protocols.
- You will take steps between appointments to minimize your exposure to COVID.
- If you have a job that exposes you to other people who are infected, you will immediately let your therapist know.
- If a resident of your home tests positive for the infection, you will immediately let your therapist know and we will then [begin] resume treatment via telehealth.
I may change the above precautions if additional local, state or federal orders or guidelines are published. If that happens, we will talk about any necessary changes.
My Commitment to Minimize Exposure
My practice has taken steps to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus within the office. Please let me know if you have questions about these efforts.
If You or I Are Sick
You understand that I am committed to keeping you, me, other therapists, and all of our families safe from the spread of this virus. If you show up for an appointment and I believe that you have a fever or other symptoms, or believe you have been exposed, I will have to require you to leave the office immediately. We can follow up with services by telehealth as appropriate.
If I or another Middle Path Counselor test positive for the coronavirus, I will notify you so that you can take appropriate precautions.
Your Confidentiality in the Case of Infection
If you have tested positive for the coronavirus, I may be required to notify local health authorities that you have been in the office. If I have to report this, I will only provide the minimum information necessary for their data collection and will not go into any details about the reason(s) for our visits. By signing this form, you are agreeing that I may do so without an additional signed release.
Updated May 20, 2020