On March 18, 2020, CSHBC strongly recommended that all Registered Audiologists (RAUDs), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIPs), and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs) who work in private practice conduct a risk assessment, suspend in-person elective and non-essential services, and only provide urgent and emergent services. CSHBC recommended that registrants follow this protocol for approximately two weeks, at which time they should re-evaluate the situation.
In light of numerous developments with COVID-19 in BC since then, and subsequent guidance provided by BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, CSHBC advises registrants that the recommendation that registrants in private practice suspend in-person elective and non-essential services remains in effect until further notice.
The College also continues to recommend that RAUDs, RHIPs, and RSLPs who work in public health clinics, hospitals, health agencies, long-term care facilities, school districts, and other public sector settings conduct a risk assessment and follow the direction of their employers and public health officials.
CSHBC has been closely following orders and guidance issued by Dr. Henry. On March 23, 2020, Dr. Henry issued a letter outlining expectations for regulated health professionals (PDF). The first expectation in the letter stated: “All non-essential and elective services involving direct physical contact with patients and clients should be reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice.”
See the March 25, 2020 CSHBC news story that includes questions and answers about Dr. Henry’s letter of expectation for regulated health professions.
Also see the March 22, 2020 CSHBC notice to the professions on providing virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic and, if providing essential and urgent services, see the March 19, 2020 notice to the professions on enhanced infection control.
CSHBC will continue to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, other BC government officials, and the BC Centre for Disease Control, and provide updates to registrants.
CSHBC’s position may evolve, especially as the Provincial Health Officer provides new guidance. Check the College’s website daily for updates. All CSHBC news stories and notices to the professions on COVID-19 are compiled on the COVID-19 Information for Registrants page.
Modifications to CSHBC programs and processes to address the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are temporary and not precedent-setting or permanent.