COVID-19 Updates


Have questions about why so much drastic action is necessary?

To understand more about how pandemics work and why social distancing is so important to effectively deal with the virus, follow the link to a short video produced by PBS that explains. 

Update: 1/19/21:

Based upon a recent exposure to the virus and the CDC’s announcement that the worst of infections is still coming in the coming couple of months, MPC has moved to offering TELEHEALTH-ONLY services. To accomplish this, Ree has been approved as a telehealth provider for BCBS of South Carolina. This change applies to both current and new clients. For more information on what this means for you, please contact your insurance carrier.

Update: 12/7/20:

Unfortunately, the numbers in Richland and Lexington Counties continue to rise.  Therefore, MPC has announced the following policy changes:

1) All clients (and clinician) will wear masks at all times.  (This is true for the clinician, regardless of whether or not there is anyone in the office at all.)  This is in keeping with the recommendation by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

2) As of 1/2/21, all clients will be encouraged to use telehealth services for their sessions.  Those without a qualifying exemption will be required to attend appointments via telehealth.  Exemptions include insurance coverage, inadequate or insecure internet, lack of privacy, etc.  This is in keeping with the recommendation by the CDC.

3) Those who are granted in-office sessions will be required to sign a waiver and expected to follow all of the policies for maintaining social distancing and sanitizing – during and between sessions.  This is in keeping with the ethics for providing services during a public health crisis.

For more information, you can click on the links below.

COVID-19 Risk Factors

COVID-19 Policies.pdf

COVID-19 Consent & Release.pdf

 Update: 6/26/20:

Face masks are now required in Columbia for (at least) the next 60 days.  This means that when clients come to the office, they will need to wear a mask from the car to the building, in the building to the office suite and in the waiting area of the office suite.  My understanding is that when clients are in my office they have the option to take off the mask, since the office is set up to practice social distancing.  If a client prefers that they and/or both of us to wear a mask, we will do so.

When leaving, the mask will have to be worn, again.

With positive cases rising, there is a significant possibility that the practice may choose to return to telehealth services.  If a client prefers to do that before that decision is made, however, that request will be accommodated, so long as it does not interfere with insurance reimbursement.

Precautions will continue to be in place regarding social distancing and santizing practices as feasible for the foreseable future.

If you are a current client and have questions regarding any of this, please message Ree through the portal.  

Update: 5/6/20:

With the restrictions now lifted to voluntary, the practice will begin seeing clients in the office beginning Monday, May 11.  

Please know that precautions will continue to be maintained regarding social distancing and sanitizing as feasible for the foreseeable future.  If you are a current client and have questions or concerns, please message Ree through the portal.  

MPC is committed to protecting the health and safety of its clients.  

Thank you for your flexibility in this season of uncertainty.

Update: 3/27/20:

Stay-at-Home order

Columbia has now issued a stay-at-home order, effective Sunday (3/29/20), meaning that only those who work in essential services will be able to continue working at their professional locations.  Unfrotunately, at this time mental health services are not considered essential.  Therefore, all sessions will now need be conducted through telehealth for at least the next few weeks, while this order is in effect.

Using Zoom through Psybooks – Instructions

Current clients will receive detailed instructions on how to install and use the secure telehealth video platform through Psybooks in their messages through the portal.  If you cannot access your portal for some reason, please call Ree to find out how to regain access.  Sessions can only be conducted through the portal, for the protection of your privacy, so having access is critical at this time.

Telehealth video instructions should be sent no later than 6pm (1800 hours) on Friday, 3/27.  Clients are asked to read through the instructions and test it as far as possible (before the actual appointment) to insure that everything is working as properly as possible. 

Having Problems with the video portal?

Clients who have any problems getting into ‘the waiting room’, and the appointment is not imminent, please message Ree to resolve the glitch(es). 

Clients with an imminent appointment are asked to call Ree (803) 760-8212 to resolve the glitch(es) in time for the session or the session may need to be rescheduled.

Future Updates

Updates will continue to be posted as needed.

Thank you!

Again, your patience is appreciated as we figure out together how to navigate this unprecedented crisis.

Update: 3/26/20:

The practice is in the process of switching to a secure telehealth venue to serve existing clients, beginning 3/30/20.

All in-office appointments will be honored next week unless the city of Columbia issues a mandatory stay-at-home order. If you have an appointment and there is a mandatory quarantine in effect, please contact Ree through the portal to either reschedule or to find out how to set up a secure video portal through Psybooks.

Instructions on how to set up and access the video portal will be forthcoming to current clients via the messaging portal.

If you cannot access your messages because of a forgotten password or user ID, please call Ree (803-760-8212) for an unique code. You will then be given instructions on how to reestablish access to the portal.

For video sessions to be scheduled, there must be a credit card on file to be billed at the completion of the session.

Video sessions are run on the Zoom platform through Psybooks so it is crucial NOT to sign into Zoom directly, even if you have your own account because that would make it less secure. You will need to log into Psybooks and follow the instructions sent to you.

Rest assured, changing from in-office to telehealth sessions will only last for the duration of the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. Once the public health threat has been addressed, in-office visits will resume.

This is new for each of us and so your patience is deeply appreciated as we learn to navigate through this together, in an effort to keep everyone healthy. Thank you!

Update 3/16/20:

As communities begin to feel the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to share with you the steps I am taking at Meeting Place Counseling LLC to help protect the health and safety of clients.

I am closely monitoring local and national reports on the evolving impact of COVID-19.

As of Monday 3/16/20, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) I plan to continue to provide for your mental health need during this situation.

I frequently wash my hands and sanitize often-touched surfaces such as door handles and arm chair cushions. I request that clients also respect the guidelines from the CDC to help prevent the spread of the disease. In fact, for a time, it may be useful to bring your own tissues to limit the amount of surfaces touched.

At this time, Meeting Place Counseling LLC will continue to provide services during regular scheduled hours to meet the needs of clients.

If you feel as though you may be ill or symptomatic on the day of your appointment (particularly if you have a fever), please contact the office via the portal. 

Should a mandatory quarantine/lockdown be issued statewide, I am pursuing avenues by which to set up credit card payments for the video conference Psybooks offers, so that there is as much continuity of care as possible. 

Again, the health and safety of clients is my top priority and I am committed to doing my part to help keep you safe.  Please continue to monitor this page and your e-mail for access to updates, as this is a rapidly shifting situation.