COVID-19 information

Clients/Families/Caregivers

Reminders

  • Please understand that we are doing the best we can given the situation. It is important to us to protect the health and well-being of our clients, families and staff during this time.
  • General Phone calls –We are currently doing our best to contact clients to book appointments. You do not need to contact us for an appointment. Please call if you have an urgent issue such a sudden hearing loss or sudden change in your communication needs, or if you would like to book a hearing test for your baby.
  • We are screening all clients and those coming with them to the appointment for symptoms of COVID-19. We will be calling before your appointment and asking again when you arrive. If you are feel unwell please let us know and we can rebook your appointment.
  • Site Entry – some Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia (HSNS) locations are within hospitals that may have screening in place. Please follow their directions for entering and exiting the buildings. If you are denied entry for some reason, please call your clinician or the HSNS site and we will be happy to rebook your appointment.
  • Our staff are monitoring their health daily. At times this may result in a cancelled appointment. We will rebook as soon as possible.

 

How care has changed at HSNS

During the pandemic we have offered telehealth (phone and computer) appointments for our clients. As we continue to follow advice from Public Health and our professional association we cannot currently see as many clients as we once did. This will likely change with the easing of more restrictions.

  • We will continue to offer both in-person and telehealth (phone and computer) appointments. If you do not have access to a phone or computer, please let us know.
  • What we do in person versus virtual care
    • Telehealth (phone or computer) may involve asking questions about your health, or asking questions about a particular condition in order to give your audiologist or speech language pathologist the critical information they need to help treat you or your loved one. The questions may be asked by any one of our staff. All your information will be kept confidential.
    • We ask that you only bring ONE support person with you at this time. Some of our clinical spaces are small and cannot hold more people. We will be asking for name and contact information should we need to follow up about any COVID related exposures.

What will my appointment look like? Preparing for your visit

  • In person
    • We are asking all clients, support personnel and children over 2 yrs of age to wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will provide a mask. If you or your child has a medical reason not to wear a mask, please let our staff know.
    • Upon arriving at the site, you can let one of our staff know you have arrived. They will likely ask more screening questions. Once the questions have been answered someone will take you into an office to begin your session or we may ask you to wait for a few moments in a pre-arranged seating area.
  • Masks
    • All clients, 2 years and older are being asked to wear a mask. If you would like a mask but don’t have one, we can provide one for your session.
    • If you or your child has a medical reason not to wear a mask, please let our staff know.
  • Restrictions
    • One caregiver per adult client. One/two support people for children, depending on current NSHA visitor restrictions for your region. No other people, including other children, will be allowed in clinic. For the time being we ask that you follow these rules. For parents we understand that this is a difficult request. Please ask our staff about other options for appointments and follow up.
    • We will be asking for the name and contact information of everyone coming into one of our sites. The reason we will be asking is that in the event that we have an exposure to COVID-19, this information will help Public Health contact everyone that may have been exposed in a timely manner.   

Public Health Measures to keep you safe

  • HSNS is following our approved plan in order to provide in-person services.
  • We will be:
    • Asking all clients over the age of 2 years to wear a mask
    • Physical distancing as much as possible
    • Using the right protective clothing
    • Following hand washing protocols
    • Cleaning and disinfecting all equipment after each use
    • Offering virtual appointments when we can

 

Information for our partners

  • What has HSNS done in response to COVID?
    • Continue to offer services as much as possible via telehealth appointments
    • Working from an approved plan to transition to in-person services
    • Trained staff on infection control measures including hand hygiene
    • Ensuring that all  staff have the necessary protective equipment
    • Cleaning of all high touch surface areas in between appointments
    • Complying with physical distancing at all our sites
  • Plan for resuming in-person services (based on Phasing and Transition Documents)
    • Our plan for returning to in-person care has a number of levels or phases. Each phase or step will follow public health guidelines to keep you and your loved ones safe.
    • It may mean that we will have sites that will be in different phases of service delivery. 
    • If there is another outbreak of COVID-19, we may need to move back to closing a site to all in-person services. If this should happen we will once again work with our partners to offer emergent and urgent care.
  • Expectations about wait times and triaging referrals. During this time, with restrictions in place and to keep our staff and clients safe, we cannot offer the same level of service as we once did. This will mean that some clients will experience longer wait times and we are truly sorry for this. If you are interested in learning about other audiology and speech language pathology options, please search for audiologist, speech language pathology, hearing instrument specialist or hearing aid dispenser for other options.
  • Volunteer opportunities are limited. Please contact the site.

 

Contact us if you have any questions
info@nshsc.nshealth.ca or 1-888-780-3330

NS Government

Please visit the NS Government's website for their response to COVID-19.

FAQs

We've answered your questions about services during COVID-19.

HSNS location specific information

Find out up-to-date information about services at your local site during the COVID-19 pandemic.