After the Shutdown - Letter from MPA President, Dr. Willie Garrett

Governor Walz extended the stay at home order through May 18. Due to strong pressure from businesses and the U.S. President, it is likely that the state will be opened up soon. Psychologists will again become front-line workers with direct client contacts. Safety will again become paramount and integrated into our practices. Here is what we have learned from the front-line workers at medical clinics:

  • Arrange office furniture to maintain at least a six-foot distance from clients if possible.
  • Schedule clients at intervals to minimize people meeting in the waiting room.
  • Arrange waiting room furniture to six-foot distances.
  • Minimize the handling of money, objects, and paper forms. Wash hands frequently.
  • Ask clients if they have a fever or cough; and refuse to see them in-person if suspecting they are infected.
  • Use disposable, or easily washable toys with children.
  • Have hand sanitizers, tissues, gloves, paper towels, kitty litter, and masks available.
  • Use sanitizer sprays or swabs on furniture, doorknobs, and any area touched by people.
  • Minimize the time spent working in your office, and perform administrative work off-site as much as possible.
  • Treat all body fluids as toxic substances. (Some providers use kitty-litter on wet spots).
  • Strengthen your own immunity through proper nutrition, exercise, and relaxation.
  • If possible, work a four-day week to allow more rest and less people contact. Also, time for your work area to properly ventilate and minimize virus survival on surfaces.
  • Continue to have business and social-peer meetings via Zoom; and Telehealth with risky clients. Attend virtual CE trainings to complete licensure requirements.

The Spanish Flu lasted about two years, and it is reasonable to expect COVID-19 will be coming back in waves through the 2021 summer. As the situation evolves over time, practice requirements will also change in concert. However, you are not alone during this critical transition. Support is always available from MPA. Check the MPA website for updates, resources, legislative events, self-care, division’s listserv peer-reports, CE trainings, and the latest information on billing and practice issues. You may also contact members of the Governing Council with any clinical, social justice, or practice concerns you may have.

I wish you all the best, and thank you for your service in the recovery effort.

Willie Garrett, MS, LP, Ed.D.
President, Minnesota Psychological Association
[email protected]