Covid-19 Safety Protocols

(last update – January 1, 2023)

With high vaccination rates and a continually improving situation, all remaining Covid-19 directives were revoked on June 11, 2022.  All health care professionals, including RMT’s, were advised to use their professional judgement to determine what protective measures were neccessary based on individual risk assessments so you have likely found many differing approaches since then.  

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 Covid symptoms on January 4th, 2022. I will continue to screen for these symptoms as follows:

I will forward some information regarding massage therapy and Covid-19 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. A less detailed Follow-Up Screening Form will be sent out before EVERY appointment after the first one. 

ONE SCREENING IS MANDATORY before each session and doing it ahead of your appointment will save us time when you arrive. On the day, I will simply confirm that nothing has changed since your pre-screening before we proceed.

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.

My treatment room has no windows or direct ventilation and I have prolonged face-to-face contact with all my patients, some of which are immunocompromised.  In order to keep everyone safe, I have chosen to continue to require all persons entering my clinic to wear a CLEAN, WELL-FITTED mask at all times – at least for now. You can choose to wear an N95, surgical/procedure or cloth mask and I will have cloth and surgical masks available onsite for those who need them. 

To maximize your protection and mine, I wear a WELL-FITTED N95 mask for every session and at all times when in my clinic space.

 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. Since mask shortages and increased costs are no longer a concern, most people aren’t reusing their masks anymore.  However, if you choose to do so, there are ways to do it safely.  Click here for a video on how to do this.   

If you are stongly opposed to wearing a mask or have a medical condition that makes mask-wearing difficult, please discuss it with me and we will work together to find the best available solution. 

HAND WASHING

 

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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..

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 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 received my second dose of the vaccine in June 2021 and my most recent booster in January 2023.  Despite being fully vaccinated, I continue to undergo regular testing as well. I am also self-screening before every workday and will cancel my appointments if needed. 

PRIORITIZING

Flexible treatment times for front-line health care workers and educators will be prioritized at this time. If you identify from one of these groups and cannot find a timely appointment, please contact me directly and I will do my best to schedule your session around your availability .

VISITORS

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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. That being said, you are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you if you like.

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

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

 

IF YOU DEVELOP SYMPTOMS

 

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If at any point you or any of your close contacts develop covid symptoms (updated January 4, 2022), 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.

Because of decreased testing capacity, the Ministry of Health has advised all symptomatic individuals to assume they are positive for Covid-19 and follow these guidelines. If you test positive through a Rapid Antigen Test, you can view your next steps here. I also ask that you inform me of your situation and cancel any upcoming appointments until such time as you have completed your self-isolation AND are symptom-free for a minimum of 2 days OR cleared through a negative test result.  

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.

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 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 at all times.

* TMJ massage for jaw pain can be performed using both intra and extra-oral techniques. If intra-oral work is indicated, both the therapist and patient will wear masks and face shields.  

* Infant Massage is unavailable for in-person treatments. However, online coaching is an option. Click here for details.

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! 

Dora