Plan for Safe Practice During COVID-19

Life has been a lot different these days.  This means that our return to massage therapy will be different for both patients and massage therapist.  This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.  I am following advice provided by Dr. Bonnie Henry, BCCDC, and the College of Massage Therapists of BC (CMT).  I am committed to these actions in order to protect my patients, my family and myself.

"Coronavirus is transmitted via liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes.  The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose, or throat if you are in close contact.

The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin.

It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough.  That's why we recommend you cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands regularly"

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/how-it-spreads

The over all aim of these protocols is to reduce ptoential coronavirus transmission by:

  • Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of COVID-19 related illness in both patient and the therapist

  • Hand Hygiene requirements

  • Avoiding face touching

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols

  • Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Meeting professional obligations, particularly related to informed consent and liability insurance.

Pre-screening/ prior to arrival
  • Each patient will be informed about their responsibilities at the time of booking.  In addition to this webpage, a newsletter went out to all subscribed on May 16, 2020, and the information is included in online booking software which will send details of these protocols with emails for booking and reminders.

  • One day prior to the booked appointment the patient will be required to complete the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self Assessment tool and to stay home if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19.  The link is:  http://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en

  • I will phone each patient prior to the booked appointment to discuss using the self-assessment tool and verify the results.

  • I will use the BC COVID-19 Self assessment App prior to seeing patients and commit myself to canceling all appointments if symptoms appear.

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses.  An appintment must be canceled immediately if either you or myself present with even mild symptoms of:

Fever

Worsening cough

Shortness of breath

Sore throat or pain with swallowing

Stuffy or runny nose

Loss of sence of smell

Headache

Muscle Aches

Fatigue

Loss of Appetite

  • Symptoms may range from mild to severe.  Patients are required to cancel appointments if they experience the symptoms above or what they might classify as "just a cold" or "feeling under the weather" on the day of their appointment.

  • As part of the consent form patients must acknowledge understanding that while I have taken all possible measures to reduce risk of viral transmission the very nature of massage therapy means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room.

  • 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 treatment.

  • Patients with risk factors and/or weakened immune systems should consider waiting and/or decide if the massage benefits outweigh the consequences of treatment in this time of viral risk.

 
Upon Arrival
  • Patients will come to the side entrance which allows direct entrance to the treatment room.  Avoid crossing paths with another patient by getting out of your car just before your appointment time.  I will open the door for you after my hand hygiene and when wearing a cloth mask

  • I will advise you of my current results from the online BC Covid-19 Self assessment App.  I am using a thermometer for temperature.

  • You will sanitize your hands with liquid sanizer for 15-20 secs or wash with soap and water for 20 secs before and after your appointment

  • You will be asked to wear a mask when we are unable to maintain 2 meter distancing.  If you do not have one a sanitized cloth mask will be supplied for you.

  • You must confirm that you are symptom free and have not traveled outside of British Columbia (including Grande Prairie Alberta).  The treatment will be canceled immediately if patients do not meet the pre-screening criteria.

Treatment area pre-cautions
  • I will wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds between patients, before and after disinfecting spaces, before putting on mask or gloves, and before taking off masks.  

  • Patients will be entering directly into the treatment room through the side door.  This is to reduce area of exposure as I am a home office.  

  • The washroom will be sanitized at the start of my work day and at the end.  Individual cloth hand towels for single use are provided for drying hands.  Please use the towel to open the door before placing it in the bin.  

  • Coronavirus is transmitted by touch when droplets on the hands transfer to the mouth, nose or eyes.  Please do not touch your face.  Use a tissue to address an itch and/or touch the face for any other reason.

  • Treatment areas are cleaned prior to your visit but you are welcome to request that any surface be recleaned while you watch.

  • Intra-Oral TMJ treatment will not be conducted during this time.

  • The therapist will wear a mask at all times when working with the patient.

  • Additional time has been scheduled between patients to allow for thorough cleaning of the treatment room.  The floor is steam mopped in between patients.

  • Surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected with a Canada Health Approved disinfectant as listed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html

  • All high touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patients, regardless of appearances.  High touch surfaces includ (but are not limited to):  light switches, stool, door knobs, electronic devices, table surfaces, chairs, faucets, treatment table, levers, face cradle, lotion bottles.

  • No thermophores, table warmers or covers will be used.  

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

Professional Obligations

I carry professional liability insurance.  I am following all the health and safety guidelines outline by the Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC, the College of Massage Therapists of BC and the Provincial Health Officer and taking all reasonable precautions to clean and disinfect the treatment area.  I make no guarantees that patients may not come in contact with coronavirus during an appointment.  

In the event that a patient tests positive for COVID-19 having been to a massage therapy appointment within the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms....

The patient will contact the therapist and inform her of positive test results and possible transmission of the virus IMMEDIATELY.  The therapist will immediately self-isolate.  Public Health will be contacted at 811 to report the alleged transmission and the name of the patient and contact details will also be shared.  The patient must agree to the release of this information under these circumstances in order to receive treatment.  All massage therapy appointments will be canceled until public health has investigated and provided direction.

In the event that myself OR my husband tests positive for COVID-19 or displays symptoms of COVID-19 we will immediately self-isolate.  All massage therapy appointments will be cancelled until results are returned negative, or after self-isolating for 14 days and having no symptoms of fever.  

Asymptomatic Spreaders

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

  • I have put into place protocols to help mitigate that risk as outline in the preceding documentation.

  • No guarantees have been made by the therapist that the patient may not come in contact with COVID-19 at or during an appointment.

 

Contact

Cell: 604-308-6034

angelathompson.rmt@hotmail.com

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