Infection & Safety Protocols

(last update –  April 7, 2024)

All health care professionals, including RMT’s, are currently using their professional judgement to determine what protective measures are neccessary in their practice settings.  As a result, individual risk assessments have created a multitude of approaches to infection control.  

This page is where you will find clarity on the measures I have chosen to keep in place and what you can expect ahead of your next appointment with me. I will continue to update it as the Ministry of Health and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario make adjustments in response to the ongoing situation so check back regularly to remain current.

SCREENING

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The Ministry of Health released an updated list of infection symptoms on January 4th, 2022. I will continue to screen for these symptoms as follows:

I will forward some information regarding massage therapy and infection through my online Initial Pre-Treatment Screening Form. You will receive this form when you make your first booking or, if you make your appointment in advance, in the week before your scheduled session. Subsequent screenings will occur onsite before EVERY appointment after the first one and may include a temperature check using a touchless infrared thermometer if I feel it is necessary.  

MASKS

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The Chief Medical Officer of Health chose to lift the remaining provincial masking requirements on June 11, 2022. All health care professionals are now making their own masking policies based on individual risk assessments.

Effective April 7, 2024, masks will no longer be required in any part of my clinic except when face up on the table. (please see illness guideline below for restrictions).

In an effort to protect the environment, I no longer supply disposable masks. Clean, reusable cloth masks will be freely available for patient use but you are welcome to bring your own as well.

I will continue to wear an N95 mask in the treatment room and I will happily mask at all times on request.  I have a supply of N95 masks on site and you are welcome to purchase one at cost ($2) if you’d prefer a higher level of protection while in my space.

YOUR VACCINATION STATUS

Part of the updated screening guidance provided on August 21st, 2021 was to inquire regarding the vaccination status of every patient. I will continue to do this as part of my initial screening process. Here is some clarity on what I ask, why I ask and how your vaccination status will affect our treatment choices.

  • Vaccination status, in and of itself, DOES NOT affect my ability to see you as a patient. If you are not fully vaccinated or prefer to keep your status private, I will simply ask a few additional screening questions. Your answers to ALL my questions determine how we proceed.
  • I use your answers to inform my risk assessment – determining whether the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks for both of us. To create the safest experience, I may choose to take additional steps to protect us both (ie. more questions, augmented use of PPE) or postpone/reschedule your appointment if I feel it’s necessary.

Lastly, while I encourage and support the government’s evidence-informed vaccination campaign, it is not within an RMT’s Scope of Practice to discuss the Covid vaccine in detail or provide advice regarding the types of vaccines available. For more information and clarity on this topic, I suggest contacting your primary healthcare provider or clicking on one of the links below.

Government of Ontario: COVID-19 Vaccine
Public Health Ontario’s Vaccine Safety
Health Canada’s Vaccines for COVID-19: Authorized Vaccines
Centre for Effective Practice: COVID-19 Vaccines
MOH – About Covid-19 Vaccines

 

 

MY VACCINATION STATUS

 

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I recieved all available vaccinations as they were released as well as the updated version of the vaccine in November of 2023. I continue to undergo regular testing as well. I am also self-screening before every workday and will cancel my appointments if needed. 

BEHIND THE SCENES

 

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Before/after your treatment and behind the scenes, this is what will be happening:  

  • Linens, blankets and my apron will be changed before and after every treatment.
  • Anything in the treatment room that isn’t changed will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every session.
  • All high contact surfaces outside the treatment room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly throughout the day.
  • A true HEPA air purifier (Honeywell HPA300C) is on all day. It is placed on its highest setting between every appointment to remove any lingering contaminants before you enter the treatment room and is put to work in the waiting area overnight. 
  • Continual monitoring of CO2 levels as an indicator or air quality (Inkbirdplus Indoor Air Quality Monitor) and adjusting air ventilation accordingly
  • Windows will be opened periodically throughout the day or left open during clinic hours, depending on the season.

For more details on how my day-to-day operations have changed please visit my FAQ page.

 

ILLNESS GUIDELINE - IF YOU OR A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER DEVELOP SYMPTOMS

 

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There will inevitably be times when you or a member of your household will develop symptoms of illness throughout the year. Since antigen tests are less available you may not be sure what the cause is and wonder if you should cancel your appointment. Here is how I will be handling these situations:

If you develop symptoms of illness and:

  • test POSITIVE for Covid, please stay home. Reschedule your appointment for 10 or more days from the date of your positive test result.
  • test NEGATIVE for Covid OR you are not able to test for Covid, please stay home until you are symptom-free for at least 48 hours. NOTE: If you reschedule your next appointment within 10 days of the onset of symptoms, you will need to wear a well-fitted mask at all times while in the clinic including while face down on the table even if you are symptom-free when you actually come in.
  • are reasonably sure that your symptoms are due to a non-infectious cause (ie. asthma, allergies, chronic sinus irritation, etc) you do not need to change your appointments.

If a member of your household has symptoms of illness and:

  • tests POSITIVE for Covid OR is not able to test for Covid, you may keep any upcoming appointments so long as you remain symptom-free. NOTE: You will need to wear a well-fitted mask at all times while in the clinic including while face down on the table.
  • tests NEGATIVE for Covid OR you are reasonably sure that their symptoms are due to a non-infectious cause (asthma, chronic sinus infection, allergies,etc) you may keep any upcoming appointments so long as you remain symptom-free.

Most of us know what symptoms to be mindful of by now but here are a few resources in case you need them.

VIRTUAL CONSULTATIONS/COACHING

In this unprecedented time of social distancing, I’ve been searching for a way to offer guidance to those patients who are unable to see me in person. Through a remote consultation using either a video format or just over the phone, I will assess your situation and offer advice and support to help with whatever pain or disfunction you’re experiencing. Following our session, I will send a written summary of my recommendations with video links to exercises and stretches for your reference. To book a virtual consultation click here.

TREATMENT MODIFICATIONS

The following treatments have been modified as detailed below:

* Indie Scalp Massage has been modified to exclude some techniques around the mucous membranes of the face – eyes, nose and mouth. Although I can work under your mask if needed/requested, it’s not necessary and your mask will stay on when facing up on the table. 

* TMJ massage for jaw pain can be performed using both intra and extra-oral techniques. If intra-oral work is indicated, the patient’s mask will be removed to allow easy access. The therapist will wear a mask, vinyl gloves and face shield.  

* Infant Massage is once again available for in-person treatments. However, online coaching is an option to anyone who is uncomfortable with face-to-face interactions. Click here for details.

If you have any questions about all the information I’ve included here, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll do my best to clarify. 

Take care and I hope to see you soon! 

Dora