CABH is committed to continuing to meet the needs of the St. Louis community during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The social isolation so many are feeling due to social distancing measures are resulting in higher incidence of anxiety and depression throughout not just St. Louis, but the world. As mental health providers, we first must "do no harm," so our ethics require us to balance the mental health and physical health of those with whom we work.
CABH staff is fully vaccinated and are obtaining boosters as they are available and recommended so we have been able to return to in-person care when appropriate and needed. CABH is consistently monitoring our local transmission rates and adjusting our in-person services accordingly, as variants create rising cases in our area. We are providing teletherapy for counseling throughout the crisis and are providing those assessment services that are able to be provided online when in-person testing is not appropriate. We are providing in-person services when we can reasonably assure minimal risk. We have implemented increased cleaning protocols, installed plexiglass barriers and air purifiers, and mask while in person with N-95 or similarly effective masks.
Now that vaccines are available to children down to age 5, we are asking that all individuals coming to our office provide proof of full vaccination to enter our suite to protect the health of all of our patients, staff, and their families as there are still young children who cannot be vaccinated and immunocompromised individuals in our community. As a practice that works with children, we interact with families with many different health situations and want those who come for in-person services to feel safe while in our offices so that they, and we, can focus on their mental health needs.
Individuals presenting to our office must show proof of being up to date with their vaccines including boosters if the individual is eligible for them. A completed vaccination consists of one Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot or two Moderna or Pfizer shots. Individuals who received the J&J vaccine should be boosted after two months. Individuals who had a MRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) should have received boosters after five months. Youth twelve and older are eligible for vaccine boosters. You will be asked to provide proof of vaccination record upon request for our services as part of your intake process if you are requesting in-person services. Established clients have already been given the option of providing vaccination or remaining online for their services.
Unvaccinated children under 5 years of age and individuals with a medical condition or closely-held religious belief that prevents vaccination, must provide a negative COVID test to attend in-person services at our office. All COVID test results must be from a medical lab (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, your doctor’s office, etc.) and cannot be an at-home test. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept at-home test results, as they cannot be verified for the identity of the person tested nor the time tested. Negative tests accepted must be either: A PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment.
In addition to providing proof of vaccination or a negative test, all individuals must remain effectively masked in the waiting room and when moving through the suite. Effective masks include N-95, KN-95, KF-94, or any mask that meets or exceeds the filtration requirements for an N-95. Face shields, bandanas, gaiters, and cloth masks will not be an acceptable means of masking. While CABH has purchased masks meeting these requirements in various sizes, we encourage you to provide your own to insure proper fit for effectiveness and your comfort. While transmission is high in our area, we request that those transporting for in-person services but not receiving services remain in their car while services are provided. Mitigation strategies remain in place that include: no physical contact with others, contactless payment, no-contact temperature checks, disinfecting wipes/spray in rooms for cleaning of surfaces and materials, plexiglass shields at check-in and during testing, and hand sanitizer throughout suite.
Regardless of vaccination status, we request that all individuals presenting for in-person services monitor themselves or their children for symptoms that may be contagious and not present to the office if they are experiencing symptoms that could be given to others. Individuals who have symptoms or have been exposed to someone showing signs of infection or confirmed positive within the past two weeks should not present for in-person services. In-person therapy sessions can be easily changed to being virtual during times of possible contagion. Similarly, if one of our staff is experiencing symptoms, they will offer you virtual instead of in-person services if they are feeling well enough to provide the services and they can be done so virtually.
CABH staff is committed to providing excellent service while also managing the pandemic. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we address this unprecedented time. We request and will provide understanding and flexibility regarding rescheduling necessities during this time to keep everyone safe.