COVID-19 Updates and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID-19 UPDATES

BUILDING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

Due to recommendations and guidance from local and state health officials to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our building is closed to the public until further notice. However, our office remains open for employees during this pandemic. During this time, you may experience some delays in reaching staff and we appreciate your patience. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please email us with any questions at SpeechandHearing@dca.ca.gov.

PUBLIC ORDERS AND INFORMATION

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 issues, including updates on the viruses spread and finding services such as disability or unemployment benefits, visit the stateís consolidated services page at https://covid19.ca.gov.

For the most up-to-date public orders issued by the Governor, please visit the Governorís Newsroom at https://www.gov.ca.gov/newsroom.

For the most up-to-date guidance on the COVID-19 virus for health care professionals and health care facilities, please visit the California Department of Public Healthís COVID-19 UPDATES webpage at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx.

FAQS

IS THE BOARD WAIVING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS?

At this time, the Board has not been given authority to waive statutory and regulatory requirements for Continuing Education, Required Professional Experience (RPE), telehealth, and telesupervision. If this changes in the future, the Board will post information on our website regarding any statutory or regulatory waivers made available to licensees/registrants at that time.

AM I CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL? SHOULD MY BUSINESS OR PRACTICE REMAIN OPEN?

The Board does not have jurisdiction over this issue and cannot tell individual licensees whether they or their businesses are considered essential. The Board recommends that licensees and their employers review the Governorís Executive Order ďStay home except for essential needsĒ and its list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers, and use these guidelines to assess whether you or your business is an essential job function as outlined by the Governor. Due to variations in local county public health orders, you should also check with your local county health department to determine what activities they consider essential and non-essential. A list of links to each county public health department is available at https://covid19.ca.gov/state-local-resources/#top.

AM I REQUIRED TO REPORT TO GO TO WORK EVEN THOUGH I DONíT FEEL COMFORTABLE?

The Board does not have jurisdiction over this issue, you should follow public health advisories issued in your county and consult with your employer on this issue.

CAN LANGUAGE ASSESSMENTS BE DELAYED BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ABLE TO DO CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS?

The Board does not have jurisdiction over this issue, you should follow public health advisories issued in your county and consult with your employer and your county office of education for guidance on this issue.

WILL IEP MEETINGS HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE TIMELINE REQUIRED?

The Board does not have jurisdiction over this issue, you should follow public health advisories issued in your county and consult with your employer and your county office of education for guidance on this issue.

IS IN-PERSON THERAPY REQUIRED?

The Board does not have jurisdiction over this issue, you should follow public health advisories issued in your county and consult with your employer on this issue.

HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT RPE WEEKS?

Are you not working due to school or business closure? Only weeks in which you are working can count toward the required 36 weeks of full-time or 72 week of part-time experience. If your RPE license will expire before you are able to complete the required 36 weeks of full-time or 72 weeks of part-time experience, you will need to submit an RPE extension request if your license will expire before you complete your weeks.

WILL I BE ABLE TO GET AN EXTENSION OF THE RPE LICENSE CONSIDERING THE SITUATION?

If you meet the eligibility requirements for an RPE extension you can apply for that once your current RPE is about to expire. If you have already received an RPE extension and are not eligible, you may need to apply for a new RPE license. At this time, the Board has not been given authority to waive statutory and regulatory requirements for Required Professional Experience. If this changes in the future, the Board will post information on our website regarding any statutory or regulatory waivers made available to licensees/registrants at that time.

WILL I BE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE LICENSE EXTENSION FEE EVEN THOUGH MY SITUATION IS BEYOND MY CONTROL?

At this time, the Board has not been given authority to waive statutory and regulatory requirements for Continuing Education and Required Professional Experience. If this changes in the future, the Board will post information on our website regarding any statutory or regulatory waivers made available to licensees/registrants at that time.

CAN A SLP SUPERVISE RPE THROUGH TELESUPERVISION?

Only tasks that require indirect supervision can be tele supervised, those requiring direct supervision still need to meet current requirements as the Board has not been given authority to waive statutory and regulatory requirements for Required Professional Experience. If this changes in the future, the Board will post information on our website regarding any statutory or regulatory waivers made available to licensees/registrants at that time. All supervising SLPs must be licensed in California.

HAS THE 8-HOUR RPE SUPERVISION REQUIREMENT BEEN MODIFIED IN LIGHT OF COVID-19?

SLPs will be required to comply with California Code of Regulations, Title 16, section 1399.153.3 and continue meeting the eight hour per month direct monitoring requirement. At this time, the Board has not been given authority to waive statutory and regulatory requirements for Required Professional Experience. If this changes in the future, the Board will post information on our website regarding any statutory or regulatory waivers made available to licensees/registrants at that time.

DOES AN RPE SUPERVISOR NEED TO CO-SIGN CFY DOCUMENTATION IN SKILLED NURSING FACILITY?

No. The CFY documentation needs to be signed but arrangements could be made to review these outside of the skilled nursing facility and could be signed in the future.

CAN A SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ASSISTANT (SLPA) PROVIDE TELETHERAPY?

Only tasks that require indirect supervision of a SLPA can be provided via teletherapy. All other tasks performed by a SLPA still need to meet current requirements as the Board has not been given authority to waive statutory and regulatory requirements for SLPAs. If this changes in the future, the Board will post information on our website regarding any statutory or regulatory waivers made available to licensees/registrants. All supervising Speech-Language Pathologists must be licensed in California. For additional information, please reference California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 13.4, sections 1399.170 and 1399.170.2.

Updated March 25, 2020