COVID-19 Pandemic Information and Updates

COVID-19 Pandemic Information and Updates2022-06-16T14:58:26-06:00

On June 14, 2022, the Government of Alberta lifted all mandatory COVID-19 public health measures.
In response, ACLSPA released a Position Statement: COVID-19 Management, effective June 16, 2022.

Ensure the use of reputable information when making decisions about your practice and personal situation. See below for information relevant to ACSLPA members. Be sure to be aware of the information specific to Alberta and Canada.

2020 – March 2022
COVID-19 Information and Updates

2022-03-01 – Updated Advisory Statement: Providing Services as Public Health Emergency Pandemic Restrictions Ease: New Masking Requirements2022-03-01T12:53:47-07:00

As public health restrictions in relation to COVID-19 ease in Alberta, ACSLPA has updated our guidance to members. The updated Advisory Statement is available here. We urge all regulated members to review the updated advisory statement, and to also familiarize themselves with any local municipal requirements in relation to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

The issue of masking, its importance in relation to disease prevention, and its potential impact on communication and communication interventions can be difficult to navigate. Given potentially competing demands, regulated members are urged to consider the issues from a number of perspectives, as outlined in the advisory statement, to make decisions based on sound rationale, and to document those decisions as required.

At a minimum, when masking, surgical or procedure masks are required.

Please feel free to contact the ACSLPA SLP or Audiology Practice Advisors with any additional questions here.

2022-01-07 – Updated Advisory Statement: Providing Services Under Public Health Emergency Pandemic Restrictions, Resources & Definition of Critical Worker2022-01-14T10:18:52-07:00

ACSLPA’s Advisory Statement: Providing Services Under Public Health Emergency Pandemic Restrictions has been updated to include the public health measures and recommendations put in place in response to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Alberta due to the Omicron variant. This advisory statement, effective January 7, 2022, provides direction to ensure regulated members have the necessary information to comply with the latest legislation, standards, and requirements.

Click here to access the updated advisory statement.

Click Here for resources

Click here for the Addendum to the Advisory Statement with the definition of critical worker.

2021-09-24 – In Effect: September 24, 2021 – COVID-19 Restrictions Update2022-01-07T10:02:07-07:00

ACSLPA’s Advisory Statement: Providing Services Under Public Health Emergency Pandemic Restrictions (Updated: January 7, 2022 – Superseded)is now available on The ACSLPA website. This advisory statement provides direction to ensure regulated members have information to comply with legislation, standards and requirements related to the new public health emergency announced by the Government of Alberta on September 15, 2021. This advisory statement is in effect as of today, September 24, 2021.

ACSLPA will continue to provide updates to members if further information or changes that may affect members in their practice are announced. If you have questions, please contact the SLP Practice Advisor or the Audiology Practice Advisor using the Contact ACSLPA Form.

2021-09-16 – COVID-19 Restrictions Update2022-01-07T10:02:44-07:00

On September 15, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced new Covid-19 public health actions, which came into effect on September 16, 2021.

ACSLPA has received guidance that under these new measures, NO CHANGES to operations are required for regulated health professionals.

Members are further advised that consistent with the directive on mask requirements from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, effective September 4, 2021, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces. Members must wear masks in all indoor work settings, except while alone in workstations or when separated by at least two metres distance from all other persons. Members should use medical grade masks when providing direct client services or when unable to maintain a 2-metre distance from clients.

Information that may be helpful from the previously published ACSLPA Advisory Statement can be found at Providing Services During a Pandemic – March 2021. 

Members are also advised that they can access the Government of Alberta’s Rapid Testing Program if they so desire.

The situation has evolved and continues to evolve rapidly. ACSLPA will provide updates when more information is available.

2021-06-24 – “Open for Summer Plan” Stage 32022-01-07T10:03:06-07:00

ACSLPA’s guidance to members for Alberta’s Stage 3 reopening is now available – Guideline: Providing Services Under Eased Pandemic Restrictions. The guidance provides for a fair bit of discretion as we move into Stage 3 on July 1st. While the former advisory “Providing Services during a Pandemic” is now superseded, members may find the details helpful when determining their practice protocols and precautions.

If you have questions; please contact the SLP Practice Advisor at s l p @ a c s l p a . c a or the Audiology Practice Advisor at a u d i o l o g y @ a c s l p a . c a.

2020-05-01 – Providing Services During a Pandemic2022-01-07T13:39:25-07:00

The Advisory Statement was updated on May 15, 2020 to include information received by the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Check back frequently for changes.

Advisory Statement: Providing Services During a Pandemic (May 15, 2020 – Updated: March 23, 2021- Updated: July 1, 2021 – Superseded)

2021-12-14 – UPDATE: New Pandemic Restrictions in Alberta – Impact to ACSLPA members2022-01-07T10:16:06-07:00

December 9, 2020

On December 8, the Government of Alberta announced new COVID-related restrictions. Some restrictions come into effect immediately and others start at midnight, Saturday, December 12th. The restrictions are expected to be in place until at least January 12, 2021.

What does this mean for ACSLPA members?

  1. ACSLPA members can continue to provide services, including home and clinic-based services.

Members working in Public Education or Public Health sectors

    • ACSLPA members who work in school/classroom settings or in public health should continue to follow their sector guidance in addition to the ACSLPA advisory statement (see #2 below). In situations where guidance differs between an employer and ACSLPA, members must meet the ACSLPA guidance as a minimum.
    • Services provided to/within classrooms can continue in accordance with the guidance of school administration. If pulling children out of the classroom to provide more individualized treatment, one-on-one is encouraged.

Members working in Private Practice

    • Services must be by appointment only. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.
    • Group sessions should be deferred (unless permitted by guidance specific to their sector) and all appointments should be conducted on a one-to-one basis.
  1. Adherence to the ACSLPA Advisory Statement: Providing Services during a Pandemic is mandatory. Be sure to review this advisory again and ensure you are following the guidance it sets out. The October 2, 2020 version is still in effect.
  2. ACSLPA members must ensure that their service appointments are for the intended purpose only. Members must not allow appointments to become social interactions/visits. That is, provide your service then take leave as quickly as possible. Don’t linger to “visit” with your clients.
  3. The ACSLPA office is closed to visitors. ACSLPA staff will be primarily working from home offices. When calling, please leave a voicemail for the staff person and we will call you back as quickly as possible. Please note that phone calls to you will usually come from a “blocked caller” or “no caller ID”. Email remains a great way to connect with us.
  4. ACSLPA members can find further information about the enhanced restrictions on the Government of Alberta website (

If you require practice supports, please contact ACSLPA’s SLP or Audiology Practice Advisors at s l p @ a c s l p a . c a or a u d i o l o g y @ a c s l p a . c a.

2020-11-24 – Message from the Registrar & CEO re: COVID-19 Restrictions2022-01-07T10:16:59-07:00

November 25, 2020

To ACSLPA Members

On November 24, 2020 the Government of Alberta announced enhanced public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Members should become aware of and follow these new restrictions which are available at

ACSLPA does not have any additional information than what is available to the public at this time. Based on the information available, it is ACSLPA’s understanding that the enhanced public health restrictions have the following affects on ACSLPA members in their professional practice:

  • Regulated ACSLPA members working in public health settings (i.e. AHS and its wholly owned subsidiaries) should continue to practice in accordance with their employer’s policies and processes.
  • Regulated ACSLPA members who are not working in public health settings can continue to provide professional services in accordance with ACSLPA’s Advisory Statement “Providing Services During a Pandemic”, available here.

Please note that this document has been most recently updated on October 2. All ACSLPA members are encouraged to review this document again to ensure their practice conforms to its requirements. We are aware that the requirements around masking while providing a professional service are problematic for members but this is a condition of practice in these challenging times.

  • Health professionals can continue to provide health services in homes in conformance with their employer’s policies and processes if they work for public health or in conformance with ACSLPA’s Advisory Statement if they do not work for a public health employer.
  • Business owners/managers are encouraged to consider additional measures that are in place for non-healthcare businesses such as moving to pick-up/drop-off services, restricting walk-in access, providing services by appointment only, following capacity restrictions, allowing employees to work from home when possible, limiting services to one-on-one (no group services / only admitting one family member or support person).

ACSLPA will provide updates to all members if we become aware of any different information that would affect members in their practice.


Michael Neth
Registrar & CEO

2020-09-16 – Personal Protective Equipment – FAQs2022-01-07T13:40:57-07:00


What kind of mask do I need to wear?

ACSLPA members are required to wear masks that meet Health Canada specifications regardless of practice setting/environment. This means you need a medical-grade mask (e.g., procedural mask). Look for an ASTM or EN rating on the mask [box]. More information on Health Canada approved products is available at

What masks does ACSLPA recommend or endorse?

ACSLPA doesn’t endorse any particular brand of mask. ACSLPA members should ensure they wear a mask that meets Health Canada specifications.

Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?

This depends. If you work in a school, the direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health has been that a face shield doesn’t replace a mask and a mask would need to be worn with the face shield. However, Alberta Health Services has issued guidance about the use of a face shield instead of a mask in certain circumstances. ACSLPA’s guidance refers back to the AHS information and hence members could wear a face shield instead of a mask in particular situations. As stated by AHS, a face shield can be worn only when:

    • Continuous masking interferes with the efficacy of intervention or significantly impairs the interaction, for example:
      • significantly interferes with communication such as caring for patients with communication or cognitive challenges where visualization of the healthcare provider’s mouth and face is essential to meet care needs;
      • patients who have significant negative or emotional response to healthcare providers wearing a mask.
    • all other relevant recommendations are being followed, e.g., screening protocols, physical distancing, routine practices, e.g., point of care risk assessment (PCRA), hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, and any additional precautions.

A mask should always be considered as the first best option. A face shield would only be used for specific clients, in specific situations as noted above and when clients are not COVID-19 positive and do not have symptoms.

Can I use a mask with a transparent window?

This depends on whether the mask meets Health Canada specifications. ACSLPA members will need to take some time and diligence to investigate the masks they plan to purchase to ensure they meet these specifications.

What about Clearmask? Can they be used?

The Clearmask website provides information indicating that their mask meets the Health Canada specifications (members should confirm this through the company’s website or by contacting the company directly) and therefore could be used. Bear in mind that these masks are disposable and may be cost prohibitive. That said, there may be ways to adjust your caseload to use fewer of these masks (for example, you might be able to schedule all your articulation clients in one or two days per week). More information on Health Canada approved products is available at

Procedure masks are expensive, how can we minimize cost?

The process of continuous masking may help to reduce costs. Continuous masking means that you would don a mask in the morning and wear it continuously until you need to take it off for lunch. After lunch you would don a new mask. This would mean you wear only 2 masks for the day.

What about transparent barriers (Plexiglas). Can these be used in place of a mask?

ACSLPA has provided the guidance that a transparent barrier could be used in those specific situations where a mask cannot be used. That said, a transparent barrier needs to meet size requirements. Basically, the size needs to be large enough to be 30 cm from the mid-line of the face (~nose) in all directions (at least 2 feet wide x 2 feet tall). The size also needs to take into account movement (we rarely sit/stand without moving) to continue to ensure for the 30 cm in all directions. In addition, you need to take into account the tallest and shortest users (the barrier needs to account for the height of children and the height of the tallest practitioner). Barriers need to be cleaned and disinfected between each client.

I’m in private practice. Can I have my clients sign a waiver so we don’t have to wear a mask at their appointment? Some families indicate they’re a “no mask” household and ask for a waiver indicating that they won’t sue me if they get COVID-19.

Generally speaking, a waiver may help support the practitioner from legal action. However, should a complaint be filed against you with the college, the waiver will not help prevent a finding of unprofessional conduct. Ultimately, as regulated members, you are expected to comply with ACSLPA’s advisory statement. Non-compliance may be considered unprofessional conduct. In all cases, you would want to consult with a lawyer before initiating the use of a waiver.

What if I choose not to follow ACSLPA’s advisory statement?

Members are expected to comply with ACSLPA advisory statements. If you choose not to follow ACSLPA’s requirements, a complaint could be filed against you. Further to this, there may be implications for your professional liability insurance coverage and/or outcomes of a hearing (e.g.,

Employee/employer requirements

Do I need to follow ACSLPA’s guidance or can I follow the rules that my employer has set out for PPE?

ACSLPA’s guidance is set out in the advisory statement “Providing Services During a Pandemic.” This guidance is considered the minimum standard that ACSLPA members must follow. In some cases, an employer will have higher standards. When this happens, the ACSLPA member will need to meet both the ACSLPA guidance and their employer’s guidance. In cases where the employer has fewer or more relaxed standards, ACSLPA members must still follow the ACSLPA guidance as a minimum.

I work for a school division. Who is my regulatory body?

SLPs and audiologists are regulated under the Health Professions Act and ACSLPA is your regulatory body. We are health care practitioners first and foremost. Regardless of practice setting/environment, ACSLPA members are bound by the ACSLPA Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and any advisory statements put forth by ACSLPA. Compliance with these key college documents is not optional.

Who is responsible for buying my PPE/masks?

This will depend on your employment. If you are an employee (hired by an agency), then typically it is the employer’s responsibility to purchase the necessary equipment. If you are a private practitioner, you will be responsible for purchasing your own PPE. Likewise, if you are a private practitioner who is “contracted to” a particular agency (but not hired by that agency as an employee), then you are likely responsible to purchase your own PPE.

Working in a school environment

I work in a school. Can I wear a cloth mask?

It depends. If you are working with clients in a professional capacity, then you must wear a mask that meets the Health Canada specifications. However, if you are simply moving about the school, in staff-only areas, or otherwise removed from clients, a cloth mask can be used.

I work in a school and some of my health colleagues are allowed to wear a cloth mask. Why can’t I?

While we recognize that there are differences between ACSLPA’s masking requirements and the requirements imposed on some other professionals and school staff, we do require that ACSLPA members wear a mask that meets Health Canada specifications when working with clients.

We believe this will best protect the public and you as practitioners (as these masks will offer some protection to you as well as your clients). This will be particularly helpful when working with children who are not required to wear a mask. In addition, this ensures the guidance remains consistent for all ACSLPA members, regardless of their work setting. It’s important to keep in mind that things are fluid and we’ll update guidance as deemed necessary. Keep your eyes to the ACSLPA website to make sure you’re viewing the most recent information.

Can I wear a face shield in place of a face mask when practicing in a school?

It is ACSLPA’s position that face shields can be worn in clinical and school settings under specific conditions when it is necessary for the delivery of effective professional services and if it can be done in a manner that protects client and practitioner safety. ACSLPA members should only wear face shields in accordance with our guidance to members which is available in the ACSLPA Advisory Statement “Providing Services during a Pandemic” (see section G.6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It is our understanding that this practice does not violate CMOH Order 33-2020 because it is consistent with and exceeds the minimum requirements laid out in section 8(f) of the Order. However, different interpretations exist and so consistent with ACSLPA’s guidance on the use of face shields, regulated members should confirm that this practice does not violate their employer’s minimum policies or standards for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.

2020-04-30 – Personal Protective Equipment – Ordering Process2022-01-07T13:39:49-07:00

Request Process for ACSLPA Members who Work in Private Practice

Hazard assessments are required under Occupational Health and Safety to identify existing and potential hazards related to COVID-19. Where possible, hazards should be eliminated. If a hazard cannot be eliminated, then it must be controlled. Appropriate hazard control (from most to least effective) includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Eliminating the hazard where possible:
    • Limiting services that are not essential or not urgent/critical.
  2. Substituting services:
    • Providing services by a different means other than face-to-face (e.g., virtual care/telepractice/curbside pickup).
  3. Using engineering controls:
    1. Maintaining physical separation of 2m between people.
    2. Using physical barriers where physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., plastic/glass barriers).
  4. Using administrative controls:
    • Directing clients to come alone (or with only 1 caregiver).
    • Hand hygiene/washing.
    • Respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes).
  5. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and commonly touched surfaces:
    • Cleaning and disinfecting is a two-step process. Use a “wipe-twice” method to clean and disinfect. Wipe surfaces with a cleaning agent to clean off soil and wipe again with a disinfectant.
    • Develop and implement procedures for increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting.
  6. PPE:
    • The requirement varies based on risk of exposure to COVID-19 and on the activities being performed.
    • All available controls should be put into place to ensure PPE is used sparingly and to support global supply.
    • For more information about purchasing PPE, see the Alberta Biz Connect website.

More information:

2020-04-24 – IPC Guidance for Private Clinics2022-01-07T13:40:28-07:00
2020-03-31 – Practicing During a Pandemic2022-01-07T13:42:04-07:00

ACSLPA provided an initial resource on COVID-19 on March 16, 2020 ( The following is intended to provide members with further guidance.

The ACSLPA office has been receiving many calls from members regarding SLP and audiologist practice during this pandemic. Most calls have been centred on two main topics: scope of practice as related to participation in nasal swabbing (COVID-19 testing) and whether it’s safe to continue to provide services (and by which medium).  For information related to nasopharyngeal swabs, click here.

Service to Clients

Note that we all continue to take our guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health/Public Health in Alberta. At the time of writing (March 19, 2020 10:30am) there has not been a directive for SLPs and audiologists to discontinue their services and clinics/practices can remain open at the owner’s discretion. It is recognized that direction could change and members should stay abreast of information from public health daily.

Under the current Public Health Emergency, the Government of Alberta has the authority to declare if health-care facilities, including SLP and audiology clinics, must close. ACSLPA defers to experts in public health and recognizes their knowledge and expertise in this area.

SLPs and audiologists have always had a responsibility to help clients make informed decisions about their care. This responsibility is even more important now. ACSLPA members also have a responsibility to direct clients (and themselves) to reputable information. The sites included here are providing key information to Canadians and the world and are reputable sources of information.

Alberta Health
Alberta Health Services
Public Health Agency of Canada
World Health Organization

For those members in a position to make a choice, the decision to continue to provide services should be made carefully, weighing the risks to clients and members alike. Some ACSLPA members may choose to discontinue services (i.e., those in private practice) if it’s appropriate to do so. In the case of COVID-19 the key public health focus is on limiting the spread of the disease between individuals. Members should be thinking about public safety in all situations. SLPs and audiologists must think about social distancing (and whether you can still accommodate services) and infection prevention and control practices and how you can adhere to enhanced environmental cleaning practices. Further considerations:

Infection Prevention Control

IPC measures must be very rigorous. The ACSLPA Standard of Practice 4.1 Safety and Risk Management states that regulated members “practice in compliance with occupational health, safety and risk management legislation and requirements, in all practice settings.” The legislation and requirements referred to includes the new ACLSPA  Advisory Statement Infection Prevention Control: Single-Use and Reusable Medical Devices and corresponding standards developed by Alberta Health (links included within the Advisory Statement). Note that toys and similar objects when used for the purposes of assessment and treatment, fall within this advisory statement.

Some key points regarding environmental cleaning include:

  • COVID-19 is currently thought to be spread through contact with respiratory droplets, either following a cough or sneeze, or from contact with contaminated surfaces where droplets reside.
  • There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Cleaning refers to the removal of visible dirt and debris. Disinfection inactivates disease producing micro-organisms. Effective environmental cleaning for COVID-19 requires both cleaning and disinfection. More information is included in the Alberta Health Standards for IPC (see the ACSLPA Advisory Statement for links).
  • As part of routine clinical practice, SLPs and audiologists should already be cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment between clients.
  • Increased daily cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, staff rooms, desktops, washrooms, telephones, keyboards/mice, and shared pens.
  • Removing items that cannot be easily cleaned (e.g., newspapers, magazines, stuffed toys) from waiting rooms and shared staff areas is advised.
  • For more information, see the Government of Canada recommendations for community-based measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Occupational Health and Safety

ACSLPA members who are also business owners/operators should be considering a business continuity plan (how your business will continue to function in a crisis). Note that business owners are subject to Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Code and Regulations ( This means that they must create a safe work environment and provide appropriate controls to address identified risks in the workplace. Meeting these requirements includes educating employees about risks, providing supplies necessary to mitigate risks, and encouraging appropriate use of supplies and behaviours to mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19. Examples may include:

  • Provision of PPE,
  • Providing facilities for and encouraging frequent hand hygiene,
  • Providing supplies for environmental cleaning, and
  • Ensuring staff are aware of relevant sick leave policies, encouraging those who are ill to stay home.

Employers need to consider implementing the measures suggested by Health Canada to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as appropriate for their work environment. These measures include enabling remote working where possible, staggering start and end times to reduce the need to travel at peak times and increasing space between workstations and treatment tables.

Employers should also keep abreast of information through the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta regarding employment and wage supports available due to COVID-19.

Posted: March 19, 2020

Thank you to Physiotherapy Alberta College+Association for permission to utilize information from their website for the development of this information.

2020-03-31 – Telepractice – Information for ACSLPA Members2022-01-07T13:42:48-07:00

In the face of COVID-19, social distancing and a societal response to preventing illness, we are pleased to see so many members considering other options for serving clients.

A number of members have contacted the office looking for information about the viability of using telepractice (telehealth, videoconferencing, telephone) with clients.

ACSLPA is not able to endorse or recommend one platform over another. Not all platforms are created equally. Regulated members will need to determine if a particular platform meets their needs.

  • When choosing a platform, you might want to think about cost, features available (including privacy options), the client’s home technology and the IT supports available to you. You should have good rationale for your choice.
  • You can anticipate needing to be able to troubleshoot online, during sessions.
  • What services can you reasonably offer? While home/parent consultation may lend itself nicely to telepractice, other services might need modifications.

Regardless of the platform you choose to use, be mindful of:

  • Speed of transmission – bandwidth in the province may be particularly stressed right now therefore video may show increased pixelating/freezing and audio may be intermittently affected.
  • Privacy (i.e., encryption needs and/or potential hacking) and security settings.
  • Dedicated space (location) – ensuring content can’t be overheard by others for both yourself and your client.
  • Facilitation/support on the remote end – does someone need to be available to support the client with their technology or activities?

Informed consent – members are expected to obtain informed consent from their clients when there is a significant change in service (including a change to using telepractice). Consent does not need to be in writing – it can be verbal. In all cases, consent must be documented. The process of informed consent should include discussion about additional risks associated with telepractice services (which includes changes to privacy considerations and types of services that can be delivered in this manner).

ACSLPA has both a standard and a guideline related to telepractice. These documents can be accessed at the following links:

ACSLPA’s Informed Consent for Service guideline is also available at

Posted: March 17, 2020

2020-04-06 – Telepractice FAQs – Pandemic Edition2022-01-07T13:41:25-07:00

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health orders are in place limiting face-to-face interactions. Many ACSLPA members are moving to virtual care to continue to serve clients.

The answers to common questions related to telepractice during the pandemic are included here. If you have unanswered questions, please contact ACSLPA’s SLP or Audiology Practice Advisors at s l p @ a c s l p a . c a or a u d i o l o g y @ a c s l p a . c a.

Click here for FAQs

2020-03-31 – Telepractice Resources2022-01-07T13:42:22-07:00
2020-03-31 – COVID-19 Information2022-01-07T13:43:08-07:00

A public health pandemic has been declared in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Most of us have never seen a public health crisis such as this and it can feel overwhelming and scary. There not only is a lot of information available, there is also a lot of misinformation making its way through informal channels such as social media. It is imperative that ACSLPA members keep themselves abreast of rapidly changing information as it may affect practice and how we conduct ourselves as individuals.

ACSLPA members should utilize reputable information when making decisions about their practice and personal situation. See the Resources section below for some sites that members might want to access for up-to-date information. Be sure to be aware of the information specific to Alberta and Canada.

Members should be sure to follow the instructions provided by Alberta’s Public Health officials. As the information is changing rapidly, there are a few key things to keep in mind (which are not expected to change).

  • Stay at home if you are feeling unwell.
  • Practice Hand Hygiene. While always important, hand hygiene must be a priority at this time. Use soap and water to wash your hands, and if that isn’t available, use hand sanitizer. Instructions for handwashing can be found here:
  • Practice Respiratory Hygiene. Cough/sneeze into a tissue and immediately dispose of that tissue and then wash your hands. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow (away from your hands).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice Social Distancing. This means staying 1-2 metres away from others. It means staying away from large gatherings.
  • Stay informed.

SLPs and audiologists will need to follow the direction of their employers regarding the services they provide or are expected to provide. They may be called upon to work in a different capacity or to do different work than is normal. This is a societal response to this pandemic and all individuals have a role to play to protect fellow Albertans and Canadians.

SLPs and audiologists will need to make decisions about whether services will continue to clients. As it stands currently (March 16, 2020 at 12:00), SLPs and audiologists should weigh the risks in a responsible way. Determining the risk to clients and the risks to the provider will both need to be taken into account when making these decisions. Employing agencies will also be providing direction to their staff.

Virtual Care (Telepractice) may be a viable option for ongoing services. More information can be found in ACSLPA Standard 1.7 Virtual Care and in the ACSLPA Telepractice Guideline. ACSLPA members will need to consider if they are positioned to provide virtual care appropriately, including the implementation of appropriate safeguards when sending/transmitting information virtually and how documentation can be performed.

Infection Prevention and Control

ACSLPA members must remain vigilant in their infection prevention and control (IPC) practices at this time. For more specific information, refer to the new ACSLPA Advisory Statement: Infection Prevention Control: Reusable and Single-Use Medical Devices. The advisory statement includes links to the Alberta Health standards which have been adopted by ACSLPA. Note that for our purposes, toys and similar objects are considered medical devices and need to be cleaned and disinfected according to the Alberta Health standards.

Business Continuity


ACSLPA has a business continuity plan that will ensure core services can continue to function even if there is a shut-down of the office or if staff are required to be away. All ACSLPA staff are equipped to work remotely and ACSLPA can continue to provide practice advice to members during this unusual time. Some less urgent pieces of work may be put on hold if needed until things settle down. Note that it may take longer than usual for staff to respond to routine enquiries as they may be busy responding to critical questions/issues that are arising. It will be easiest to reach staff by email rather than by phone.


Members who operate private practices or employing agencies may want to be thinking about their own business continuity plan. The following resource may help you in your planning.

Canadian Centre for Organizational Health and Safety: Business Continuity Plan: Infectious Diseases


Members may want to access the following websites for information, in addition to their local news channels/stations and municipal websites.

Albert Health
Alberta Health Services
Public Health Agency of Canada
World Health Organization

Posted: March 16, 2020

2020-04-01 – Memo Re: ACSLPA Members Performing Nasopharyngeal Swabs2022-01-07T13:41:46-07:00

Memo from ACSLPA to Alberta Health Services and ACSLPA Members

To:         Alberta Health Services

From:   Michael Neth, ACSLPA Registrar and CEO

CC:        ACSLPA Members

Date:    March 17, 2020

Re:       ACSLPA Members Performing Nasopharyngeal Swabs


ACSLPA has been asked by Alberta Health Services and others to provide an opinion on the capacity for regulated ACSLPA members to undertake nasopharyngeal swabs. Although nasopharyngeal swabbing is not part of ACSLPA members’ typical range of practice activities, consideration for this change is motivated by the exceptional need for competent practitioners who can undertake this activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Performing a nasopharyngeal swab is a restricted activity in accordance with the Government Organization Act and is therefore regulated under the Health Professions Act and the Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Profession Regulation (SLPAPR).

Position Statement: There is no legal or regulatory barrier that would prevent a member on the speech-language pathologist (SLP) general register from performing a nasopharyngeal swab as long as the individual is sufficiently competent to perform the activity. SLPs on the general register are specifically permitted by section 14(1)(b) of the SLPAPR to engage in the restricted activity “insert or remove instruments or devices beyond the point in the nasal passages where they normally narrow”, which would encompass nasopharyngeal swabbing. Audiologists are not authorized by the SLPAPR to perform nasopharyngeal swabs.

Advice to Employers: Employers should be aware that nasopharyngeal swabbing is not a common activity undertaken by SLPs in Alberta and so regulated ACSLPA members will require appropriate training and supports in order to develop sufficient knowledge and skill to perform this activity competently. As highly educated and conscientious health professionals, many SLPs are likely well-suited to undertake this activity once sufficiently trained. Regulated ACSLPA members have a professional obligation to decline work that they are not competent to perform. Employers can verify the registration status of SLPs by visiting and clicking the “Verify Registration” link.

Advice to ACSLPA Members: Although this is a new activity for most SLPs, this is a truly unprecedented situation in which the greater good calls all health professionals, and indeed all people, to contribute as they are able in order to manage and hopefully stop the spread of COVID-19. Regulated ACSLPA members have a professional obligation to decline work that they are not competent to perform, however, they also have a professional responsibility to consider the public interest and undertake all reasonable steps to become competent before making a conscientious decision to decline the task. ACSLPA members seeking support in making conscientious decisions can contact the College at

Michael Neth
Registrar and CEO

Posted: March 17, 2020


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