Our Response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus at Alongside You

Please take note – masks are now mandatory for all staff, associates, and clients in all common areas of our clinic as of September 28, 2020.

September 21, 2020 Update

In an effort to keep everyone safe, including our staff, associates, and clients, we have put a mandatory mask policy in place. As of September 28, 2020, all staff, associates, and clients will be required to wear masks in all common areas of our clinic which include the building hallways, our reception area and our interior hallways. As we get busier in person, it is more difficult to maintain the required 6 ft distance to keep everyone safe. With the return to school and work, our contacts are increasing and we’re also seeing the rise of COVID-19 numbers.

When you arrive, please wash your hands thoroughly in our bathrooms and/or sanitize your hands with the provided hand sanitizer. In an effort to keep our costs down and avoid increases to fees, please bring your own mask. If you forget, we have disposable masks at the door for you to use.

Once you are in your private therapy room, you may remove your masks. We can maintain the required distance in each of our offices. On your way out after your appointment, please put your mask back on as you leave the clinic and our building.

Please be assured that we are maintaining a very thorough cleaning regiment in addition to our mask policy. We are cleaning our offices twice daily, and in between all massage therapy clients. We use Health Canada approved cleaning agents that are both safe, and also proven to kill the COVID-19 virus on contact. 

Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe and keep our doors open through this extraordinary time!

Please continue reading below for more information about our response to COVID-19.


We take this pandemic very seriously here at Alongside You. Our top priorities are the health of our clients and the health of our staff and associates, including everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. As counsellors have been deemed an essential service by the BC Public Safety Minister, our office in Ladner will continue to remain open until directed otherwise. Please note we have enacted many precautionary measures to keep our clinic a healthy and safe space for everyone.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are closely following recommendations from the provincial and federal governments, as well as the BCCDC and WHO to ensure the safety and well-being of our clients and team members. At this time we have many clinicians who are able to offer in-person appointments. (Of course this may be subject to change as we monitor updates and recommendations closely.) We also have clinicians able to offer online counselling for any clients who prefer to access their service remotely.

 

Community Health

We are doing our best to maintain social distancing and community health for staff, clients, and associates while visiting our location. Changes we have made include:

  • We are requiring all staff, associates, and clients to wear masks in all common areas of the clinic including the building hallways, our reception area, and all of our internal office hallways. Once in a private room, masks may be removed according to each person’s comfort level.
  • We have provided hand sanitizer for everyone’s use. We require clients to wash their hands thoroughly in our washrooms prior to entering our office and use the provided hand sanitizer.
  • We are limiting unnecessary physical contact in the office including avoiding shaking hands
  • We have increased our cleaning and sanitization regimen through actively disinfecting door knobs and other surfaces that may be touched by others. This is now done multiple times per day.
  • We have removed drinks, books, magazines, toys, etc., from the waiting room for the foreseeable future to reduce risk of transmission on surfaces.
  • We have removed fabric furniture from the waiting area and replaced these items with chairs with non-porous surfaces that are sanitized regularly.
  • Our 2 business day cancellation policy will be waived if you are feeling unwell or sick. If you have any symptoms, let us know and please stay home. We can also offer online appointments for you in this case if you’re able to continue with the appointment remotely.
  • In turn, we have directed our team to stay home in the possible event of feeling unwell, and to return only when they are completely symptom free.
  • We are keeping our front door open so that clients do not need to touch the door handles to enter. Our staff/associates will also open and close our interior office doors for you to limit contact with surfaces.
  • We are using separate entrances and exits wherever possible to ensure social distancing.
  • We are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization and the BC Centre for Disease Control and are looking to them for guidance. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us

 

Health Procedures When Visiting our Office

In order to maintain everyone’s health we are asking clients and anyone else entering our offices to please abide by the following procedures:

  • Please visit the washrooms located on our floor and wash your hands thoroughly before entering our offices.
  • Please use hand sanitizer when you enter our offices as a further precaution, which we have provided for your convenience.
  • If you are not already wearing a mask, we require that you put one on before entering our offices while in the common areas
  • Please limit your time in our waiting room. We have removed much of the seating and spread out our seating to ensure social distancing of at least 2 metres. If you are early, or are dropping someone off, please wait outside the office elsewhere as much as possible.
  • We are requesting that our clients avoid bringing people with them to their appointments, except in the case of someone who requires care (such as a parent bringing a young child to their appointment).

 

Operational Changes

We have made some operational changes during this time to serve you better and keep everyone healthy:

  • All of our staff and associates have access to secure online platforms to provide online services. Some associates are only providing online services at this time, and all associates have the ability to provide services online if you prefer.
  • We are no longer accepting cash for payments. Instead, we can accept credit cards and debit transactions. Our debit machine is sanitized after every use, with tap being used when possible. Credit cards are processed through our clinic management software and this requires no physical interaction whatsoever.
  • Our reception is now working in the office, and remotely as needed. They are able to make and receive calls as usual, and will be working from 10am-4pm. If you don’t reach someone live on the phone, please leave a voicemail and we will return your call as soon as possible.

 

Precautions with In-Person Neurofeedback

We have made some procedural changes during this time as we re-open our in-person neurofeedback services to keep everyone safe:

  • Both clients and clinicians must wear masks for the duration of the session.
  • Clinicians will be wearing gloves for both the application and removal of sensors.
  • We are sanitizing the neurofeedback equipment, station and its surroundings for every appointment.
  • Optional: Clients may request that the clinician leave the room for the ~35 minutes that the neurofeedback session is running if they prefer.
  • We will of course continue to follow the additional health precautions we currently have in place as a clinic and update these procedures based on the recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer and WorksafeBC as needed.

 

Precautions with Massage Therapy

We have made some procedural changes during this time as we massage therapy services to keep everyone safe:

  • Both clients and clinicians must wear masks for the duration of the session.
  • We are sanitizing the massage therapy room before, and after every appointment.
  • We will of course continue to follow the additional health precautions we currently have in place as a clinic and update these procedures based on the recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer and WorksafeBC as needed.

 

Precautions With Group Therapy

In addition to the general precautions above, we have adapted group therapy to keep everyone safe:

  • We have reduced the size of our groups to a maximum of 4 clients. This allows us to maintain a minimum of 6 ft between participants and therapists.
  • While not mandatory, any client who feels safer to wear a mask may do so at their own discretion.
  • We are sanitizing the furniture between group sessions.
  • We will of course continue to follow the additional health precautions we currently have in place as a clinic and update these procedures based on the recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer and WorksafeBC as needed.

 

Precautions With The Art Studio

In addition to the general precautions above, we have adapted art studio procedures to keep everyone safe:

  • All participants must wash their hands prior to entering the studio.
  • All participants must wear a mask or face shield and practice social distancing of 2 meters in class and be seated at their own six-foot table.
  • We are requiring all participants to bring their own smock.
  • We are not allowing food or drink in the art studio. Participants may bring a pre-filled water bottle that they keep at their station if they wish.
  • We are using easy to clean/sanitize, one-time use materials, or instructor-only distributed materials. Materials that cannot be sanitized will be stored for 7 days before they are used again.
  • We are regularly sanitizing high touch areas, surfaces and art tools before and after each art session.
  • We are reducing our open studio sessions capacity from 8-10 down to 3 people max as well as 1 instructor.
  • We are reducing our open studio sessions length from 3 hours sessions to 2 hour sessions to reduce exposure, and provide adequate time to sanitize, set up and clean up, and sanitize everything again after use.
  • We will of course continue to follow the additional health precautions we currently have in place as a clinic and update these procedures based on the recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer and WorksafeBC as needed.

 

** This page will be updated as new information and recommendations emerge. Please contact us at the office with any questions **