March 23, 2020
I genuinely hope that you and your loved-ones are doing well during this COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a first responder, or one of the many essential professionals that are helping to keep the community healthy and safe, I want you to know that I genuinely appreciate what you are doing.
The stress that many people are feeling right now because of this pandemic is very real and I understand that it can be overwhelming. We at Sapphire Valley Wellness Center are dedicated to helping people manage the stress and keeping their mental health stable to endure the stress. To try to meet the needs of our clients while remaining in compliance with the regulations imposed by Governor Northam and the Virginia Board of Counseling, we are making temporary changes to how we operate our business with the best interest of our clients’ health and safety in mind.
For now, the Board of Counseling is still allowing in-person counseling sessions when necessary but is strongly encouraging the use of telehealth. If a person schedules an in-person session with us and would like to have their session via telehealth, please call us at 540-908-8682 no less than two hours prior to the scheduled session. This will allow us time to set our system the telehealth session and the person to test the system on their end. Our telehealth is conduced via a secured, HIPPA compliant, 2-way video system in the client portal. The person can attend a telehealth session via their computer or smartphone. For smartphones, there is an app that will need to be downloaded. When the session is changed to telehealth in the schedule, an email will be sent with a link to the video room for the session.
We understand that face-to-face counseling is still more effective than telehealth counseling and that some people will continue to prefer/need in-person sessions. Though there may be a time during this pandemic when the Board of Counseling will require all counseling to be via telehealth, we are currently still able to conduct in-person counseling sessions with the following limitations:
We will not be shaking hands. This is not to be rude, but to reduce the amount of physical contact while we are all doing our best to engage in social distancing.
We will not allow more than one client in the office at a time. We ask that a person not enter the building until within 5 minutes of their scheduled session and leave the building as soon as their session is over. This is to allow us time to properly sanitize our furniture and door knobs between each person who enters the building.
All staff will keep a physical distance from each person to abide by the 6-foot rule social distancing recommendations. The counselor will also abide by the 6-foot rule while in the counseling session.
If a person is symptomatic in any way, or believe that they may have COVID-19 but are not yet symptomatic, We ask that they please do not present for an in-person session, but instead let us know ASAP at 540-908-8682 and change the session to a telehealth session.
If a arrives for an in-person session and appears symptomatic with any cold, flu-like, or COVID-19 symptoms, we will ask them to leave and reschedule their session. If this occurs, it will be considered the same as a late cancelation and the late-cancelation policy will be enforced.
We apologize for the inconveniences these changes may present. I hope that you understand why these changes are necessary for the duration of this pandemic and trust that they are entirely with the best interest to your physical and mental health at heart. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or other suggestions, please do not hesitate to call us.
Brian J Strode, LPC, CCTP, CCFP
Sapphire Valley Wellness Center