Infection Control Measures & Plan for Return to Practice:  - June 6th, 2020

 

As recommended by the Ministry of Health and the CMTO to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19, here are my new practice guidelines.  The nature of Massage Therapy makes physical distancing impossible, so following the new protocols is crucial.

 

Pre-Screening / Prior to Arrival 

  • Patients will be informed about their responsibilities at the time of booking and must agree to adhere to the new safety measures.

  • One day prior to their booked appointment, patients will be sent a link to complete the online COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool (it takes less than 1 minute to do)  They must respond to my text or email to inform me they completed it and what their results are. 

  • Stephanie will use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool daily and commit to rescheduling all appointments if symptoms appear.

  • 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: Fever, Cough, Chills, Shortness of breath, Sore throat or pain with swallowing, Stuffy or runny nose, Loss of sense of smell, Headache,  Muscle aches, Fatigue, Loss of appetite.

  • As a part of this consent form, patients must commit to understanding that while I’ve taken all possible measures to minimize risk of viral transmission, the nature of massage therapy and other treatments means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room.

  • In order for massage therapy treatment to commence the therapeutic benefit of massage therapy outweigh any potential consequence of treatment, including the possibility of viral transmission.

  • 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.

  • Patients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems should consider alternatives for care and postpone treatment.

    • The patient and the therapist must both agree that the benefits of massage therapy outweigh the potential risks involved.

  • If a patient is feeling unwell and must cancel their appointment, they will NOT be charged, however with my limited availability and a waiting list of clients in discomfort wanting in, PLEASE provide as much notice as possible so I can fill your appointment.

 

Upon Arrival

  • I will have completed my Self-Assessment and confirm my results upon your arrival, and you will be verbally screened, and results will be charted and attached to their file. 

  • If the patient has a mask, they are asked to bring it with them and wear it when they arrive.  If they do not have one, they can purchase one for $2.00. 

  • Patients must confirm that they have not travelled 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.

  • A log will be kept of all people entering the office/treatment space; including couriers, guardians, clients, etc  to assist with contact tracing if ever required. This will be explained to clients and that they can refuse to provide their name and phone #. 

 

Physical Distancing

  • Patients must arrive unaccompanied unless a patient is a minor or requires assistance

  • Appointments will be spaced apart for adequate time for cleaning so there is no concern for more than one patient being onsite at the same time.  But should you see another person other than myself, please stay 6 feet apart, or remain in your car.  

  • Stephanie is the only other person who will be within the office/treatment room throughout the duration of the patient’s appointment.

  • Stephanie and the patient will both maintain a space of 2 meters (6 feet) distance between each other in all areas outside the treatment room.

  • All unnecessary items that cannot be disinfected after each client will be removed from the office/treatment.  

  • Patients are asked to arrive no more than 10 minutes early for their appointment, as I may still be disinfecting and airing out the treatment room from the previous appointment.

  • It is not possible to maintain physical distancing while in the treatment room.

 

Hand Hygiene

  • Immediately upon entering the patient must EITHER:

  • Go directly to the hand washing sink without touching anything and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then dry thoroughly with a clean towel that will be laundered after a single use,  OR

  • Use the hand sanitizer provided

  • Stephanie will follow proper hand washing techniques for at least 20 seconds before and after every appointment and after disinfecting.

  • E-transfer is a contactless method of payment clients can use, however I will still accept credit cards, and cash, but I will sanitize my hands before and after handling cards/money, and paper receipts. 

 

Avoid Face Touching

  • The therapist will wear a mask at all times.

  • Patients are also required to wear face masks that cover both the nose and mouth.

  • Muscles of the face will not be treated at this time, until further notice.  

 

Enhanced Cleaning

  • Additional time has been scheduled between patients to allow for thorough cleaning of the treatment room in accordance with infection control protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health and CMTO.

  • The treatment table, table levers, face cradle, pillows, stool and lotion bottles will be immediately after each treatment.

  • All linens, including blankets are single use only and will be laundered using high heat, detergent and between each use.

  • Everything else including chairs, stool, door knobs, light switches, and floor will be cleaned/disinfected after every appointment.

  • The bathroom will be disinfected after any patient uses it and before new patients arrive, but it is recommended that clients use their own bathrooms before arriving at their appointment to limit the number of areas they come in contact with.

  • An air purifier can be use during and/or after appointments.  The window can also be opened to air out the room.

 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Stephanie will wear a face mask at all times as required by the CMTO and Ministry of Health.

  • Safety Glasses or face shield may be used, but are not required by the CMTO/MOH.

  • Patients are required to wear a facemask.  They can be fabric or disposable. 

  • If patients have their own fabric facemask, they are requested to bring it, otherwise they can purchase one for $2

 

In the Event That a Patient Alleges they Caught COVID-19 from the Therapist

  • Stephanie will immediately call public health to report the alleged transmission, providing the contact details of my client and myself.

  • A log will be kept of all people entering the office/treatment space; including couriers, guardians, clients, etc  to assist with contact tracing if ever required.  This log will be kept confidential for privacy reasons but clients can refuse to provide their name and phone #.

  • All massage therapy appointments will be cancelled and Stephanie will cease to provide services until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.

  • Stephanie will immediately self-isolate until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.

 

Asymptomatic Spreaders

  • Asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus is an unavoidable risk of practice until we’ve acquired herd immunity, there is an effective treatment or vaccine against Covid-19.

 

Informed Consent

In the current environment of Covid-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient be informed and understands that:

  • Any massage therapy treatment involves some risk of Covid-19 transmission;

  • Stepanie is following protocol to help reduce or mitigate risk where possible, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero

  • The patient believes the risks outweigh the benefits of the treatment, and consents to treatment despite of the risks.

  • Stephanie will document the patient’s consent in advance and at every treatment.

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