clinical social work association

The National Voice of Clinical Social Work 

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Response to COVID-19

03 Mar 2020 8:00 PM | CSWA Administrator (Administrator)

The Covid-19 virus is spreading and LCSWs need to anticipate the impact that this may have on our patients and our practices.  Many of the suggestions below were gathered from the World Health Organization and other sources.  CSWA hopes we may be helpful to you as this health crisis evolves.

More information can be found at

Another comprehensive article can be found at

Clinical Practice Action Plan:

- Develop a plan for limiting in-person sessions if there is a public health recommended limitation for being in public places, or a perceived need for such limitation

- Review the CSWA Technology Standards for Social Workers if you have not done so recently (

- Check with insurers as to coverage of telephone or videoconferencing

- Make sure that any videoconferencing platform you use is HIPAA compliant (VSee, Zoom, etc.)

- Decide if patients with symptoms should have sessions by telephone or videoconferencing

- Decide if you should be working if you have symptoms

- Discuss a plan with patients in advance of the need to limit in-person contact, including arranging for phone or video sessions

- Sanitizing doorknobs and other surfaces touched by patients

- Be aware of own anxieties and try to contain

- Be prepared to acknowledge the anxieties of patients, should they occur

Public Health recommendations to reduce infection from flu or Covid-19:

- Perform frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer after being in public spaces

- Cough into elbow or shoulder, not covering your mouth with your hand

- Stay more than 6 feet away from individuals who are coughing or otherwise appear ill

- Avoid social ways of touching others, including handshakes

- Avoid touching your own face as much as possible

- Avoid public transportation such as buses or trains if recommended distance cannot be maintained

- Use hand sanitizer after going through TSA if flying by plane

- Use sanitizing wipes on plane armrests and tables and rental car keys and steering wheels

- Be aware of countries and cities where Covid-19 virus is increasing if traveling

- Engage in immune enhancing activities, i.e., get enough sleep, reduce alcohol intake, get exercise)

- Do not go to an emergency room unless absolutely essential; for a cough, fever, or other respiratory issues contact your primary care doctor first.

- Self-quarantine at the first sign of illness and wear an N-95 face mask in public spaces

Helping Children with Meaning of Restrictions Due to Covid-19

Suggestions can be found at!118&ithint=file%252cdocx&authkey=!ALcOpxBYPPJR_h4

Striking a balance between being overly cautious and overly optimistic may not be easy but as clinical social workers, I think we can achieve it.  As you may know, here in Seattle we have a cluster of Covid-19 cases and two deaths, so I will be applying these principles to my own practi

Laura W. Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice

Clinical Social Work Association
CSWA - "The National Voice for Clinical Social Work" Strengthening IDENTITY, Preserving INTEGRITY, Advocating PARITY

PO Box 10
Garrisonville, Virginia  22463

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