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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have created this webpage as a resource for psychologists, residents, and applicants in response to the coronavirus.  We will continue to add information and resources as we learn of new developments and in response to stakeholder concerns.  Daily updates will be completed by 1:00pm.  Please remember that agency staff is unable to respond to requests for legal or clinical advice.  The Board cannot advise or make comment on the Governor’s orders, insurance reimbursement, federal regulations such as HIPAA, or the happenings of outside organizations such as APA.  You will need to contact those associated entities with questions related to their programs.

Questions and Answers

1. Is the Board canceling meetings?
Not at this time.  If a previously noticed public meeting is canceled, it will be noted on the Board Meetings webpage.

2. Is the Agency office still open?
We have not changed our normal operating hours; however, to minimize the unnecessary added risk of exposure to our staff and others in our building, we strongly encourage electronic communications to our office only.  Our office doors remain closed and locked, and beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020, members of the public will be allowed entry only if they have a pre-arranged appointment with staff.  Beginning on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, members of the public will not be allowed entry.

3. Has the Board issued any official statement or advice regarding COVID-19?
Nothing has been issued specific to the Board.  Please see below for other resources.  

4. I heard that there is a new exception to confidentiality that requires Oregon health professional licensees to report potential infections.  Is this true?
No, this is not true.  We will communicate if we learn of any changes to the confidentiality requirements or other laws applicable to licensed health professionals.

5. Are there any guidance materials on tele-therapy?
Please see below, under “Resources.”  There is no additional certification required for Oregon psychologists to practice teletherapy in Oregon.

6. Is there any exception that allows me to practice in other states or countries?
We cannot answer this question for other jurisdictions, but understand that many are reviewing their laws and making changes to allow such practice, so please check with the individual jurisdiction. 

7. Is there any exception that allows licensees from other states to practice in Oregon?
In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Board has filed a Temporary Rule Amendment, effective March 31 - September 26, 2020, creating an Emergency Visitor's Permit.  This license will allow a psychologist who is licensed in good standing in another state to provide mental health care services in Oregon through confidential electronic communications.  Applicants must receive notification from the Board that their permit has been issued before beginning services.

Application for Emergency Visitor's Permit  ***Emergency visitors permits are approaching sunset. The Board will only consider applications received by September 18, 2020.  We will not process any applications received after this date.

8. Can an Oregon licensee or psychologist resident obtain an Emergency Visitor's Permit?
No. The purpose of this license is to facilitate continuity of care for Oregon clients whose provider is located in another state.  The scope of practice is limited to the delivery of mental health services through confidential electronic communications to meet the immediate needs of Oregonians in response to the coronavirus emergency.  Inactive status licensees will need to reactivate their license if they wish to provide services during this time.  Residents need to continue to practice under their Board-approved resident supervision contract.  Additionally, unlicensed persons (including residents or equivalent) from other states do not qualify. Current applicants who are also licensed in another state may technically qualify if they have clients who are displaced to Oregon due to COVID-19, but must adhere to the practice scope limitations as stated above and in the rule.  This is not to be used as a means to avoid regular licensure.  Emergency Visitor's Permits do not authorize general practice, and will all expire on September 26, 2020.

9. Will the Board be extending the Emergency Visitor's Permit past September 26, 2020?
No.  The temporary rule creating this permit was put into place on March 29, 2020 to address the immediate needs of clients who were being displaced to Oregon due to the pandemic.  The Board is not extending this permit type.  The expectation is that during this six-month period, providers and their clients would determine whether ongoing services are needed, and if so, whether it is most appropriate to transition the client to another provider, or for the provider to seek full licensure in Oregon to continue providing services to the client.  Providers who wish to continue to practice in Oregon should start the licensing process several months in advance to avoid any gaps in their ability to serve their clients.  The Applying for Licensure webpage contains the necessary forms and instructions.

10. Is the Board amending any of the continuing education requirements?
Yes.  The Board filed a Temporary Rule Amendment that suspended the 20 hour limit on home study (online) CE for licensees whose renewals are due between March 31, 2020 and August 31, 2020.  Subsequently, the Board filed a Permanent Rule Amendment that extends this to renewals that are due on July 31, 2021. This removes requirements for in-person CE for renewals due between March 31, 2020 and July 31, 2021.  The Board will continue to monitor the situation to determine if further action is needed.

11. Can a resident receive individual supervision from their supervisor by electronic means?
Usually, weekly individual supervision must occur face-to-face between resident and supervisor.  However, OAR 858-010-0036(2)(e)(D) allows for non-routine individual supervision by electronic means when an emergency prohibits a face-to-face meeting.  On March 8, 2020 the Governor declared a state of emergency in Oregon due to the coronavirus.  So, if face-to-face meetings are prohibited due to the coronavirus emergency, then supervision may occur via electronically.  Also, OAR 858-010-0036(2)(e)(C) allows individual supervision to be delayed for up to 14 days to accommodate illness.

12. Is the Board amending any of the residency experience requirements for licensure?
No, not at this time.

13. Are there changes to upcoming Oregon Jurisprudence Exam (OJE) dates?
Exam dates are still being held as scheduled, and we continue to schedule candidates for calendared exams.  The OJE remains a requirement for licensure.  However, we have reduced exam room capacity by 50% to facilitate social distancing. This means we will accommodate 6 instead of our usual 12 candidates in the 570 square foot exam room, and will schedule additional time slots to handle capacity as needed.  The building where the exam is administered is closed to the public, so that only staff members and OJE candidates are allowed entry.  Candidates will need to identify themselves at the front entrance, and the reception staff person will verify their name from a list of scheduled candidates.  All persons admitted to the building must have their temperature read at the front kiosk (touchless face scan).  Those with a fever are denied admittance.  Face coverings are required in the building at all times, and hand sanitizer is available in the exam room.  Building janitorial staff have increased sanitation efforts to promote safety.  We have also relaxed candidates' ability to reschedule exam dates without penalty if there are concerns about exposure or travel disruptions. 

14. Are there changes for application-related forms that must be sent by paper mail?

15. Is the Board considering relief for licensees, such as fee and CE deferrals?

We are actively monitoring developments in the Oregon Legislature and the Governor's Office, and we will explore options in light of those developments. Please check the updates on this webpage for changes that occur. 

Resources

Telepsychology:

State and federal response to COVID-19:



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