The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario issued a directive in May 2020 that allowed Registered Massage Therapists to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic under specific guidelines.
There are so many benefits of massage therapy, but we must remember that Ontarians are still being asked to physically distance, and we are required to stay home except for essential activities. When deciding if you need a massage, you must balance the benefits of receiving a massage versus the increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.
What is expected of you, the patient:
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell, are currently positive for COVID, or have been in close contact with someone who is currently positive for COVID. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate and complete the Government of Ontario’s self-assessment tool or contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
- Arrive wearing a clean mask (reusable or disposable). If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you at the clinic. You will need to wear the mask throughout your entire appointment. Remember to always perform hand hygiene before you put on a mask and immediately after you remove it.
- Arrive alone and on-time for your appointment. If you are early, please wait outside or in your vehicle. The front door will likely be locked until I come to let you in.
- Perform hand hygiene when you enter and leave the clinic using the hand sanitizer just inside the door. There is signage showing correct hand hygiene procedures.
- Use the washroom before arriving at the clinic. You may use the clinic’s washroom if needed, but we are trying to limit exposure to that area.
Here are some of the things we are doing in addition to our routine practices for health and safety:
- Screening patients for COVID-19 when they request an appointment and again immediately before the appointment.
- Providing treatment only if the therapist and patient have screened negative for COVID-19.
- Wearing a mask and a clean gown for each appointment.
- New as of 20 Nov 2020: wearing a face shield for each appointment.
- Leaving additional time between appointments for cleaning and disinfecting the treatment room including the table, stool, client chair, floor, gel bottle, and commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs and light switches after each client.
- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in the common areas such as doors, chairs, light switches and the bathroom multiple times a day.
- Keeping a roster (name and phone number) of everyone who enters the clinic for contact tracing purposes.
- Running a HEPA filtering unit in the treatment room during all appointments.
- Limiting exposure to electronics and money by only accepting credit card payments through the online booking software. Credit card information is required when the patient requests an appointment online, but the card won’t be charged until after the appointment.
- Removing items that are frequently shared, difficult to clean or that are not necessary to achieve treatment outcomes such as magazines, water service, reusable hand towels, heating pads, holsters to hold topical products, and upholstered furniture.
- Limiting the number of in-person visits for the safety of ourselves and our patients. We will prioritize patients with essential care needs while gradually resuming practice. Massage Therapy treatment is considered essential when the client’s overall health or function would considerably decline if treatment were not provided.
- Regularly looking for updates from the Ministry of Health and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and updating procedures as needed as the pandemic continues to evolve.
If you have any questions about our COVID-19 precautions or if you would like to discuss whether massage therapy is the right choice for you during the pandemic, please email Kimberly@kindcactusmassage.com.