COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS
It was a very detailed and exhaustive process but I have safely reopened my practice and found my new normal. As the Ministry of Health and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario adjust their guidelines, I will update my practices accordingly and relay that information through this page so check back often to stay up to date. Here’s what you should know and can expect ahead of your next appointment.
You will receive an online Initial Pre-Treatment Screening Form at the time of booking or, if you make your appointment way in advance, in the week before your scheduled appointment. A less detailed Follow-Up Screening Form will be sent out before EVERY appointment after the first one. If you have had a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis I will also send you my Post Coronavirus Pre-Treatment Screening Form to help me establish the safest approach to treatment. THESE FORMS ARE MANDATORY and will need to be completed in order to secure your session. Lastly, an onsite screening will be done when you arrive including a temperature reading using a touch-less infrared thermometer.
YOUR VACCINATION STATUS
On August 26th, 2021, the Ministry of Health released an updated set of questions that all health care professionals are required to ask. I may ask more questions than are required of me but I’m not permitted to ask less and I am now mandated to ask you regarding your vaccination status. Here is some clarity on what I ask, why I ask and what you can expect.
- Your vaccination status is considered private health information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) 2004. As such, you are not required to answer this question if you so choose.
- 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 am simply required to 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
Please arrive alone (unless you require assistance) and as close to your treatment time as possible. I’m in the fortunate position of being alone in my clinic but it is a small space. I am spreading out my appointments to allow for cleaning and disinfection but also so none of my clients run into eachother if at all possible.
You will be asked to wash/sanitize your hands upon arrival as well as before you leave. Instructions are posted in the washroom on the most effective way to do this to prevent the spread of infection. You can also view instructional videos here. I will wash my hands and forearms before you arrive, before your treatment and after we’re done..
If you haven’t arrived wearing a mask, I will provide you with either a clean cloth or disposable one. You will need to wear a mask that securely covers your nose and mouth for the duration of your time in the clinic, even when face down on the table. Positional modifications can be made on an individual basis for those who have medical conditions that make mask wearing difficult. I will be wearing a medical-grade mask and may also use a face shield and gloves if I feel it is necessary.
Instructions on how to put on, wear, take off and dispose of a mask will be available. You can also check out an instructional video here. Because of mask shortages and increased costs, some people are choosing to reuse their masks which can be an option if you know how to do it properly. Click here for a video on how to do this.
After all of that, which won’t take as long as it sounds, we’ll talk about your needs and proceed with treatment.
Before/after your treatment and behind the scenes, this is what will be happening:
- Linens, blankets and my clothing or apron will be changed before and after every treatment.
- Anything in the treatment room that isn’t changed will be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and documented as such after every session.
- All high contact surfaces outside the treatment room will be cleaned, disinfected and documented as such 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.
For more details on how my day-to-day operations have changed please visit my FAQ page.
I am keeping a log of all persons entering my clinic in order to facilitate contact tracing should anyone test positive for the virus. If at any point you or any of your close contacts develop symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and contact your GP, local health authority or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000. You can find Ontario’s online Covid-19 self-assessment tool here. This will give you a recommendation on what to do next. You can find a list of Toronto regional Covid-19 testing centres here.
I also ask that you inform me of your situation and cancel any upcoming appointments until such time as you are cleared through a negative test result OR symptom-free for 14+ days.
I received my second dose of the vaccine in June 2021 and am now fully vaccinated. Before opening my practice, I was tested for coronavirus and received a negative result. Despite being fully vaccinated, I continue to go for regular testing as well. I am also self-screening before every workday and will cancel my appointments if needed.
I will be prioritizing essential/urgent patients first at this time. This does not mean that I will not have time for those with less pressing concerns. It does mean that the benefits of treatment should outweigh the risks of infection until such time that the Ministry of Health deems the situation less volatile.
REDUCED HANDS-ON HOURS
My time is less limited since my children have gone back to school. However, due to longer gaps needed between clients and time allocated to disinfection and documentation, my availability is less than before Covid began. My current hours are as follows:
Mon 9-5 | Tues 9-5 | Wed – urgent care only | Thurs 10-8 | Fri 9-5 | Sat 10-1
When the pandemic situation stabilizes and safety restrictions are lessened the number of sessions I can accommodate within the above hours may increase but that could take a while. My estimate is that reduced capacity will be in place until the Fall of 2021.
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.
REDUCED TREATMENT OPTIONS
Some treatments will be modified or unavailable at this time due the difficulty in establishing or maintaining infection control protocols. The following treatments are temporarily unavailable:
* Thai Massage
* Intra-oral TMJ treatments
* Infant Massage
Indian Head Massage has been modified to exclude techniques around the mucous membranes of the face (eyes, nose and mouth). Additionally, due to the extensive disinfection protocols required between clients, I am no longer offering 15 minute sessions.
When restrictions ease and/or I am able to obtain the supplies needed to provide treatment safely, you will again see suspended treatments as an option when booking.
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!