Safety During the Coronavirus / COVID-19

Current as of

A s the impact of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 continues, we are dedicated to following the most current safety procedures. Most insurance companies have extended telemedicine provisions. We are still accepting new appointments, clients and online intakes for these virtual telemedicine sessions.

At this time we do not have a target date for reopening our physical offices to the community for in-person services. However, our careful planning has already begun, and we invite new as well as returning clients to read our safety procedures below. We will adjust this information as guidelines are updated.

New In-Person Procedures

Our new procedures

To help reduce chances for exposure to the Coronavirus, our office flow will move a little differently, with increases in physical distancing during personal interactions.

Please be sure to bring your cell phone to your appointment, as new steps may include additional call-ins or text updates during your:

  • Arrival
  • Wait
  • Checkout

Despite the new distance, our care and dedication to you are unwavering.

Evaluating Possible Symptoms

evaluating symptoms

Common symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe, and include fever and cough, headache, muscle ache, chills, a sore throat, a runny nose or congestion, a sick stomach, a recent loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath and trouble breathing. Read more about symptoms here 

If you feel unwell and think you might be experiencing COVID-19, please stay home to protect yourself, people in your community and your friends here at the Center.

When possible, we are glad to reschedule with a telemedicine session, and any short-notice cancellation fees are waived at this time.

Responsibilities to Protect Each Other

Additional Questions & Details

Each of us can help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease as we resume our daily activities.

Keeping us informed and updated; covering a cough and sneeze; washing your hands with soap and water; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth can make all the difference.

We will be sure to do our best with new infrared sanitation dispensers mounted on the walls, rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and the careful following of suggestions from the CDC, EPA, APA and related professional advisory bodies.

Our New Procedures

Complete an Informed Consent Form

All clients must complete an informed consent form before resuming in-person services. This form can be completed online today , or at the day of your first in-person appointment. You are also welcome to download and print the form here  

Before Your Arrival

Before your visit the Center, please consider how you are feeling and any symptoms that may be a cause for concern. Significant symptoms are listed below. A temperature higher than 100 °F will require us to ask you to please go home. All short-notice cancellation fees are waived at this time; we would much rather keep you safe and our community safe! If possible, your therapist will also gladly perform a remote session.

Depending upon state and federal guidelines, you may be required to wear a face mask or covering; please ask your therapist if you are unsure.

At this time the CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick, but not during daily situations outside your home. The best preventative action is continued hand-washing. We will provide touch-free dispensers with hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol at your arrival.

Please do remember preventative precautions such as social distancing, and try to maintain six feet from others when you are at the Center.

All of our counseling suites are always private, and during your visit you should remain in the sole company of your therapist, and with any other unnecessary engagements avoided.

Checking-in at Your Arrival

Clients are encouraged to remain in their cars or outside the building before their appointments when possible, and to phone or text their therapist at their arrival.

Please continue to wait in your car or outside for your therapist to reply before entering the building.

To avoid unnecessary contact between clients, our therapists will stagger appointments at different times, and with increases in space.

At this time we ask you to avoid, when possible, sitting in common areas such as the waiting rooms and to refrain from bringing any accompanying visitors unless you are a minor. Our waiting rooms will also be adjusted to ensure as much space as possible between clients. If you are bringing your child, please do your best to ensure your child follows sanitation and distancing protocols.

Before Your Session Begins

Before your session begins, your therapist will meet you in the hall and ask you to please use one of the contact-free hand sanitizers mounted on the wall.

Your therapist will also ask how you are feeling, and may screen you with a checklist for COVID-19 symptoms.

Depending upon the guidelines and circumstances, your therapist may additionally ask to check your temperature using a contact-free infrared thermometer. Out of an abundance of caution, if your temperature is higher than 100 °F your therapist is required to ask you to leave and to please stay home while you monitor your symptoms. We will do our best to accommodate you with a virtual telemedicine session.

During Your Session & After

Tissues, non-touch trash bins and hand sanitizer will be available during your session. Please try to avoid touching your face.

When your session concludes, please remain seated: your therapist will perform any necessary checkout for you in the administrative office.

At your departure, please phone or text your therapist after you have left the building. With your help your therapist will know the next patient can enter safely.

Evaluating Possible Symptoms

Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, and can include:

• Elevated Temperature / Fever Beginning at 100°F

• Chills

• Coagulation Abnormalities (covid toes: pink, red or blue toes accompanied by tenderness, swelling or itch; chilblains, sores)

• Congestion or Runny Nose

• Cough

• Dermatological Abnormalities (hives, a measles-like rash on the chest, back, arms or legs)

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Gastrointestinal Problems including Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea or Abdominal Pain

• Inner Mouth / Oral Cavity Lesions (Enanthem)

• Muscle Pain

• New Loss of Smell or Taste

• Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing

• Sore Throat

This list does not cover all possible symptoms. When in doubt, please call your medical provider.

Please seek immediate medical care if you are experiencing emergency warning signs, which include:

• Trouble breathing

• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

• New confusion

• Inability to wake or stay awake

• Bluish lips or face

Symptoms range from mild to severe.

Most people are able to recover by staying home and receiving plenty of rest and hydration.

At this time the CDC recommends that, if you are experiencing symptoms, you do not leave your home except to get medical care. If possible, please separate yourself from other people and pets in your home. The virus is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking. Although less likely, the virus may also be spread through touching a surface or object with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Please do not visit public areas and please do not try to make your appointment at the Center. Your therapist will be glad to perform a virtual telemedicine session instead.

Responsibilities to Protect Each Other

Keep Us Informed and Updated To Minimize Potential Exposure For Yourself and Others

If a resident of your home tests positive for the infection, please immediately inform the Center for Counseling Arts and / or your individual therapist by phone or text; we will instead begin or resume treatment via telehealth, if possible.

If you have a job, responsibilities or activities that expose you to a high number of people, or people who are infected, please inform us during scheduling.

Clean Your Hands Frequently

At your arrival please clean your hands with the sanitizer available through the touch-free dispensers on our walls. During your session please try to refrain from touching your face with your hands. After blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or related activities, please practice respectful hygiene by immediately cleaning your hands with the sanitizer provided by your therapist or with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, according to the CDC, work well as long as you are sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. You can help keep yourself safe and protect others by this basic frequent practice.

Smart Preventatives

At this time a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth is required when around other people outside your home and while vising the Center.

We will also provide a face mask to a client in need.

The CDC does not recommend that you wear gloves while visiting us, however we are strongly urged to encourage you to wash your hands before taking a seat in one of our private counseling suites.

Regular Sanitation

At the Center high-touch surfaces are routinely cleaned with EPA-registered disinfectants. Our suites are equipped with alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues and touch-free trash bins. Chairs and related furniture are placed to ensure appropriate social distance, and at the close of every day we sanitize again.

Quarantine & Discontinuing Home Isolation

For those who experience symptoms, the CDC advises self-quarantine for at least 10 days.

The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider. Current CDC guidelines suggest home isolation can discontinue when meeting ALL of the following three conditions:

• At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first began.

• You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.

• Other symptoms have improved.

Informed Consent
for In-Person Services During Covid-19

Our online informed consent can be completed today before your first in-person session.

If you would prefer to not complete the online form below, you are welcome to download a PDF copy here   This PDF can be printed and brought to the office on your first appointment. We are also glad to provide you the form at the start of your visit.

Have a question? We are happy to walk you through any step.

Please feel free to call us at 412-241-8552 or email us through our  Secure Portal


The Center for Counseling Arts

Where the quality of care matters & counseling is an art


907 West Street, Second Floor,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15221

Copyright ©2011- The Center for Counseling Arts. All rights reserved.*

* Some illustrations on this page are derived from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Communication Resources provided by the CDC, and are used only for education purposes.