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John W. McIlveen, Ph.D., LMHC, Oregon State Opioid Treatment Authority, has provided guidance for Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) to reduce potential spread of COVID-19 in their facilities. In addition to following the CDC guidance for infection prevention and transmission, facilities must:
- Require 100% screening of all individuals who are allowed to enter facilities;
- Screening means: the evaluation by facility staff of every individual entering the facility to identify any individuals who have signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection.
- Screening criteria include any of the following signs or symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- If a client or vendor has any of the signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, they must:
- Limit their movement within the facility to a separate room other than the dispensary or lobby.
- OTP staff must dose clients in closed rooms, as needed.
- Limit surfaces touched.
- If available, use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) – gloves, gown and surgical mask. No client will be turned away if these items are not available, but these practices are strongly encouraged.
- Limit physical contact with other clients, vendors and staff.
- Document screening procedures for all clients who enter facilities.
- All screenings must be documented via a form and logged. The log is for the sole purpose in assisting Public Health in preventing the further transmission of COVID-19.
- Limit group activities to the extent possible. Adhere to social distancing recommendations where group activities occur, including allowing 6 feet between group participants.
- Conduct interviews and meetings with clients by telephone or use face-to-face telehealth methods, as much as possible. SAMSHA has approved several such methods. See telemedicine information here: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
Additional information is included in the guidance letter to OTP facilities.