Covid19 - Practice Protocol
Plan for Return to Clinical Practice in Respect of Covid-19:
This plan was developed with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes Covid-19 for both clients and the practitioner within our clinical setting. Here, we identify the actions that the therapists at Lynn Valley Massage Therapy commit to, and that all clients must commit to, in order to resume massage therapy services.
"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."
Source: BC Centre for Disease Control - COVID-19 - How it spreads
The overall aim of these protocols is to reduce potential coronavirus transmission by:
- Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of Covid-19 related illness in both the client and the therapist
- Reducing all physical, non-treatment related interactions amongst all people within the practice environment
- Hand hygiene requirements
- Avoiding face touching
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Meeting professional obligations, particularly related to informed consent and liability insurance
Self-Assessment for Symptoms of Covid-19: For Clients & Therapists:
Pre-Screening / Prior to Arrival
- Clients will be informed via email about their responsibilities at the time of booking. A Covid-19 Questionnaire will be included in your confirmation email and valid for one week (ie: if you book an appointment 2 weeks later, you would have to fill out the questionnaire again). Attached to this is a Covid-19 specific consent form clients will be required to sign electronically, prior to arriving at their appointment.
- One day prior to their booked appointment, the client will be required to complete the online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool and to stay home if they experience any symptoms of Covid-19.
- The therapist will use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool themselves daily and commits to canceling all appointments if symptoms appear.
- Symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. An appointment must be cancelled immediately if either the client or the therapist presents with even mild symptoms that may be signs of Covid-19 including:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat or pain with swallowing
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell
- Muscle aches
- Covid-19 Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Clients are required to cancel appointments if they experience what they believe are 'just the sniffles,' 'seasonal allergies' or 'just feeling under the weather,' on the day of their appointment.
- They will not be charged a late cancellation fee if they cancel due to illness.
- Clients must confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone displaying illness or symptoms of Covid-19 within 21 days prior to their treatment.
- On the bottom of the Questionnaire clients will electronically acknowledge that they understand that while we've taken all possible measures to minimize risk of viral transmission, the nature of massage therapy means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room and therefore we cannot guarantee they will not come into contact with the Covid virus.
- Clients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems should consider alternatives for care and postpone treatment.
- The therapist will advise the client of his/her current results from online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool.
- Clients will be asked to confirm their own current results from online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool.
- The therapist will confirm that the client has filled out the online Covid-19 Screening Questionnaire AND performed the BC Online COVID-19 Assessment Tool.
- Masks must be worn within the clinic space. If the client has a mask, they are asked to bring it with them and wear it when they arrive. If the client does not have a mask, a single-use mask will be provided and they will be asked to wear it upon entering the clinic space.
- Client must confirm that they have not travelled outside British Columbia within 14 days prior to their appointment.
- The treatment will be cancelled if the client doesn't meet the pre-screening criteria upon arrival at the clinic.
Reception Area / Entry into Clinic Space
We ask that clients kindly:
- Arrive unaccompanied (unless required for mobility or personal assistance)
- Maintain a space of 2 meters (6 feet) distance between each other in all clinic areas that are outside the treatment room. Chairs have been spaced in the waiting room to achieve this.
- Arrive on time and not early or late for appointments -- if you arrive early, please wait in your vehicle or the mall and arrive just a few minutes before your scheduled time.
Reception Area / Entry into Clinic Space
- We ask that clients kindly either:
- Wash their hands in the washroom (please use hand towel to open and close door) or
- Use the hand sanitizer dispenser on the front desk
- Payment occurs in the reception area. A wireless Point of Sale system with Tap is available for card use which will be sanitized between use.
- We prefer to email receipts to you but we can provide a printed receipt upon request.
In the Treatment Room
- In rooms with no sink there will be hand sanitizer available and therapists will wash hands (with proper hand washing protocol) and enter the treatment room using a hand towel so as not to touch the door handle.
- Tissue is available inside the treatment room that the client may use as a barrier when opening the door.
- Hand sanitizer is available within the treatment room; clients will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands after the treatment.
- The door and handle will be disinfected between each client.
Avoid Face Touching:
- The therapist will communicate with the client that coronavirus can be transmitted by touch if droplets are on the hand when it touches the face, as it can transfer those infected droplets to the mouth, nose or eyes.
- Tissue will be available throughout the clinic: in the reception area, treatment room and washroom in order that clients and therapists may use tissue to address an itch and/or touch the face for any reason.
- The therapist will wear a mask at all times.
- Common areas will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day, including the washroom.
- All high-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between clients. High-touch surfaces include (but are not limited to):
- Light switches, door handles, POS machine, electronic devices, table surfaces, faucets, etc.
- The treatment table, face cradle, lotion/oil bottles will be disinfected after each treatment.
- All linens, including blankets and pillow cases are single use only and will be laundered using high heat & detergent between each use.
Personal Protective Equipment:
- The therapist will wear a fabric face mask while working with a client. It will be single use and then washed.
- If clients do not have a fabric face mask, a single-use non-medial mask will be provided at the time of their treatment.
- The therapist is following all the health and safety guidelines outlined by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia and the Provincial Health Officer and they are taking all reasonable precautions to clean and disinfect the clinic and all the surfaces within the treatment room.
- No guarantees have been made by the therapist, that the client may not come in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during an appointment.
In the Event That a Client Tests Positive for the Virus or Displays Symptoms
- The therapist will immediately self-isolate and notify clients that they have seen within the last 14 days.
- The therapist will call public health at 8-1-1 to report the symptoms and request access to Covid-19 testing.
- If testing is granted:
- All massage therapy appointments will be cancelled and the Therapist will cease to provide services until test results are negative.
- If testing proves positive the therapist will follow Public Health directives in informing clients treated over the previous 14 days about potential transmission.
- If testing is not granted:
- All appointments will be cancelled and the Therapist will cease to provide services for a minimum of 14-days beyond the onset of symptoms, and/or until symptoms cease.
In the Event That the Therapist Comes into Close Contact with Someone Showing Symptoms or Tests Positive for the Virus
- The therapist will immediately self-isolate.
- All appointments will be cancelled and the therapist will cease to provide services until:
- The close contact has been tested for Covid-19 and the results proved negative and the therapist is well,
- OR after self-isolating for 14 days and having no symptoms of fever develop.
In the current environment of Covid-19 risk, informed consent requires that the client be informed and understands that:
- Any massage therapy treatment involves some risk of Covid-19 transmission;
- The therapist is following protocol to help reduce or mitigate risk where possible, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero;
- The patient consents to the treatment despite some risk; and the RMT will document the client's consent in advance and at every treatment.
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