COVID-19 Return to work plan
This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes Covid-19 for both patients and the therapist within our clinical setting. The actions that the therapist commits to, and that all visiting patients must commit to, in order to resume massage therapy services.
“Corona virus is transmitted via liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact.
The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin.
It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. That’s why we recommend you cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands regularly.”
- The overall aim of these protocols is to reduce potential corona virus transmission by:
· Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of Covid-19 related illness in both the patient and the therapist
- Reducing all physical, non-treatment related interactions among all people within the practice environment
- Hand hygiene requirements
- Avoiding face touching
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Meeting professional obligations, particularly related to informed consent
Self-Assessment for Symptoms of Covid-19: For Patients & Therapists
Pre-Screening / Prior to Arrival
- Patients will be informed about their responsibilities at the time of booking.
- Patients are required to print and fill out the COVID 19 SELF ASSESSMENT, 24 hrs before a treatment and can be emailed to Pam (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that it can be reviewed prior to treatment
- Symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. An appointment must be cancelled immediately if either the patient or the therapist presents with even mild symptoms that may be signs of Covid-19 including:
- Worsening Dry Cough
- Unusual Tiredness/Fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat or pain with swallowing
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Covid-19 Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Patients are required to cancel appointments if they experience what they determine to be ‘just the sniffles,’ ‘seasonal allergies’ or ‘just feeling under the weather,’ on the day of their appointment.
- Patients must confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone displaying illness, or signs and symptoms of Covid-19 within 14 days prior to their treatment.
- The patient will be required to sign a consent and liability waiver with respect to Covid-19 prior to every appointment.
- As a part of the consent form, patients must commit to understanding that while we’ve taken all possible measures to minimize risk of viral transmission, the nature of massage therapy means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room.
- Patients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems should consider alternatives for care and postpone treatment.
- The therapist and patient must agree that the therapeutic benefit of massage therapy outweighs any potential consequence of treatment, including the possibility of viral transmission.
- Patients who develop even mild illness or symptoms must cancel booked appointments, even without 24 hours notice.
- They will not be charged a late cancellation fee if they cancel due to illness.
- Patients will be required to fill out a screening and consent form prior to appointment.
- Masks must be worn at all times within the clinic space. If the patient has a mask, they are asked to bring it with them and wear it when they arrive. If the patient does not have a mask, a clean, single use mask will be provided and they will be asked to wear it upon entering the clinic space.
- Patients must confirm that they have not traveled outside Ontario within 14 days prior to their appointment.
- The treatment will be cancelled immediately if the patient does not meet the pre-screening criteria upon physical presentation at the clinic
Within the Treatment Room
- It is not possible to maintain physical distancing while in the treatment room.
- Patients will be asked to keep all personal belongings within a plastic basket, which can and will be sanitized between patients.
- Patients will be asked to remove from the clinic everything that they bring with them.
Personal Protective Equipment
- The therapist will wear a face mask at all times while working with a patient.
- The therapist’s face mask will be changed in-between appointments.
- The therapist will wear non-latex gloves if/when appropriate.
- Gloves may be appropriate when over-use of cleaning and/or chemicals causes skin irritation, or when the therapist’s hands or skin of the hands are otherwise inured.
- Hands will be washed prior to putting the gloves on and immediately after removing them.
- Gloves are also considered appropriate and will be worn by the therapist at the patient’s request.
- Patients are required to wear a clean face mask that does not have an exhalation valve in the clinic at all times.
- If patients have their own fabric face mask, they are requested clean it prior to use, and to arrive at the clinic wearing it.
- If patients do not have a fabric face mask, a single-use non-medial mask will be provided at the time of their treatment
In the Event That a Patient Tests Positive for Covid-19 Having Been to a Massage Therapy Appointment within the 14-days Prior to Onset of Symptoms
- The patient will contact the therapist and inform them of positive test results and possible transmission of the virus immediately.
- The therapist will immediately stop treatment and self-isolate.
- The therapist will call public health to report the possible transmission and act on direction of Provincial Health.
In the Event That a Patient Alleges they Caught COVID-19 from the Therapist
- The therapist will immediately call public health to report the alleged transmission
- The patient must agree to the release of this information under these circumstances in order to receive treatment.
- All massage therapy appointments will be cancelled and the Therapist will cease to provide services until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
- The therapist will immediately self-isolate until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.