On March 23, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued an update outlining expectations for regulated health professionals in BC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Henry’s March 23, 2020 update (PDF) 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.”
This guidance to regulated health professionals remains current, despite recent discussion of potential ways measures implemented in the response to COVID-19 could be loosened at a future date.
Therefore, the recommendations issued by CSHBC on March 18, 2020 remain fully in effect:
- All Registered Audiologists (RAUDs), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIPs), and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs) who work in private practice should conduct a risk assessment, suspend in-person elective and non-essential services, and only provide urgent and emergent services.
- RAUDs, RHIPs, and RSLPs who work in public health clinics, hospitals, health agencies, long-term care facilities, school districts, and other public sector settings should conduct a risk assessment and follow the direction of their employers and public health officials.
Registrants may continue to consider offering “virtual care,” when and where appropriate and according to client ability and needs. See CSHBC’s Notice to the Professions on providing virtual care during COVID-19 pandemic.
Timelines of when elective/non-urgent in-person care can resume remain unknown, and this direction will be provided by the Provincial Health Officer at the appropriate time. In the meantime, stay the course, limit in-person services to patients/clients who require urgent services that cannot be delivered via virtual care, and continue to regularly consult the CSHBC website – including the COVID-19 Information for Registrants page – for up-to-date information.
Modifications to CSHBC programs and processes to address the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are temporary and not precedent-setting or permanent.