RE: PUBLIC HEALTH RESTRICTIONS AFFECTING ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
As many of you are aware, yesterday, March 27, 2020 at approximately 4:45 p.m., the Alberta government directed that, effective immediately, Albertans are prohibited from accessing close contact personal services which includes non-emergency and non-critical health services. As such, we sent out an urgent email to our members to act on this advice immediately.
We have reached out to the appropriate government contact for clarifications and we will send an update as soon as we have more information. Unfortunately, CHAPA has no further information at this time other than what was provided in the public address and what is available at https://www.alberta.ca/restrictions-on-gatherings-and-businesses.aspx.
We have been in discussions with ACSLPA and we believe it is important for all hearing care professionals in Alberta to share the same stance when it comes to our response to Covid-19. As such, to eliminate any confusion, with the permission of the registrar and CEO of ACSLPA, we have agreed to issue the same statement as ACSLPA as listed below.
This is our joint opinion currently:
We believe it is critically important for all CHAPA members in private practice to immediately cease all nonemergency and non-critical services. This would include preventing clients or prospective clients from accessing your offices or clinics except to receive an emergency or critical service. Any business or individual caught in violation of the prohibition may be subject to a provincial fine. It is also possible that CHAPA members could be the subject of a complaint to the College.
We also believe that non-critical services may continue if they do not require in-person contact (i.e., telepractice, virtual care, and curbside pick-up/drop-off services).
Although no definition of critical service has been provided by the Ministry, we suggest as an interim measure that members might use the following definition to guide their decision-making: Essential services means services that the interruption of which would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the population. 1
There will be scenarios that are not clear cut and questionable. In these circumstances, please consider the risks and benefits of each patient and weigh the risk of spreading the virus to the community at large. Personal and public safety should our first priority.
We appreciate the timing of this message is unwelcome and our decisions will greatly effect your families and businesses. CHAPA did not have any notice of the decision before we heard it announced publicly late yesterday afternoon. The College is here to support you. We will keep you informed of developments as it becomes available.
I would like to thank ACSLPA for their help. We are all in this together and we get through this together.
President of CHAPA
1Definition found at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-and-wellness/essential-and-nonessential-services-covid-19
Western Canadian Symposium
Postponed until further notice.
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