Infection Control Measures & Plan for Return to Practice:

Barb Goodwin, RMT  – June 28, 2020

Here identifies my new practice guidelines as recommended by the Ministry of Health and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19.  

The nature of Massage Therapy makes physical distancing impossible, so following the new protocols is crucial. 

Please note that even though the following policies and procedures are being strictly adhered to, there is no way to guarantee complete safety from viral transmission while receiving hands-on Massage Therapy. 

Make sure to assess your personal benefits to vs risks of receiving treatment at this time.

Booking the Appointment/Prior to Arrival 

*Please DO NOT book an appointment if you are waiting for Covid-19 test results or if you are feeling unwell*

  • Patients are asked to complete the Covid-19 Assessment tool before they book their appointment. If they screen positive, they should refrain from booking for at least the next 14 days.
  • 24 hours prior to their booked appointment, patients will receive a Covid-19 screening survey through their email.  They must complete and submit the survey to be able to attend their appointment.
  • 24 hours prior to their booked appointment, patients will receive a survey asking about current concerns, outcomes from their last appointment, etc. This enables me to have the treatment planned and set up before the patient arrives for their appointment.
  • I’ll use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool daily and commit to rescheduling all appointments should I screen positive.
  • Symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. The patient should not book an appointment if the exhibit even mild symptoms including but not limited to: Fever, Cough, Chills, Shortness of breath, Sore throat or pain with swallowing, Stuffy or runny nose, Loss of sense of smell, Headache,  Muscle aches, Fatigue, Loss of appetite.
  • Patients must understand and be comfortable with the fact that, while I have taken all possible measures to minimize risk of viral transmission, the nature of  the hands-on portion of massage therapy means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room.
  • The therapeutic benefit of massage therapy must be deemed to outweigh any potential consequence of treatment, including the possibility of viral transmission.
  • 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 their treatment.
  • Patients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems may want to consider alternatives for care and postpone treatment.
    • Please see note above regarding benefits vs risks
  • If a patient is feeling unwell and must cancel their appointment, the cancellation fee will be waived, however, PLEASE provide as much notice as possible so your appointment time may be filled.

Upon Arrival

  • If possible, the patient should arrive alone
  • The patient will text me at 613-791-2982 and then wait in their vehicle until I respond that they can come to the door.
  • I will have completed my own Self-Assessment and will confirm my results upon the patient’s arrival. The patient will be verbally screened, and results will be charted and attached to the patient file. 
  • A level 3 surgical mask will be provided to all patients
  • Patients must screen negative in order to be allowed to enter.
  • The treatment will be cancelled immediately if the patient screens positive. Please note that the College of Massage Therapist of Ontario has a zero tolerance policy for any positive screened patients. If the patient answers “yes” to any of the screening questions, I will be required to cancel the appointment.
  • A log will be kept of all people entering the office/treatment space; including couriers, guardians, clients, etc  to assist with contact tracing if ever required. This will be explained and visitors can refuse to provide their name and phone number and remain off the premises.

Physical Distancing

  • Patients must arrive unaccompanied unless a patient is a minor or requires assistance. In these cases, the care giver must pass Covid-19 screening as well as the patient.
  • Appointments will be spaced apart to allow for adequate time for cleaning so there is no concern for more than one patient being onsite at the same time. The patient must text 613-791-2982 from their vehicle before approaching the door.
  • I am the only other person who will be within the office/treatment room throughout the duration of the patient’s appointment.
  • We will maintain a space of 2 meters (6 feet) distance between each other in all areas outside the treatment room.
  • All unnecessary items that cannot be disinfected after each client will be removed from the immediate area of treatment, draped in plastic, or placed in a roped off area.  Please do not touch anything that has been protected in this manner.
  • Please note it is not possible to maintain physical distancing while in the treatment room.

Hand Hygiene

  • Immediately upon entering the patient must EITHER:
  • Go directly to the hand washing sink (bathroom upstairs) without touching anything and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, following the instructions on the posted sign, and then dry thoroughly with a clean towel that will be laundered and dried at high temperatures after each use,  OR
  • Use the hand sanitizer provided, following the instructions on the posted sign
  • I will follow proper hand washing techniques (from fingers to upper arms) for at least 20 seconds, following the instructions on the posted sign, before and after every appointment and after disinfecting.
  • Payment will be received through stored credit card (to allow for the transaction to take place without handling the credit card) or through etransfer preferably.  Receipts will continue to be issued through email.

Avoid Face Touching

  • The therapist will wear a mask (procedural or surgical approved for medical use) at all times.
  • Patients are also required to wear a face mask (disposable or cloth) that covers both the nose and mouth at all times.
  • Muscles of the face and jaw will not be treated at this time and until further notice.  

Enhanced Cleaning

  • Additional time has been scheduled between patients to allow for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the treatment room in accordance with infection control protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health and CMTO. Please note that all cleaning and disinfecting products being used are approved for corona virus disinfection by Health Canada.
  • Cleaning removes visible soiling, while disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs once a surface is clean. Barb will be using the “two wipe” method (wipe once to clean and once to disinfect) on all high touch surfaces.
  • The treatment table, table levers and supports, armrests, face cradle, stool, vinyl encased bolsters and lotion bottles will be immediately cleaned and disinfected after each treatment.
  • All linens, including sheets, towels, blankets and pillows and their cases will be laundered and dried using high heat and bleach, between each use.
  • All soiled linens will be kept in a sealed container that can be thoroughly disinfected, until they are transported for laundering.
  • Everything else including chairs, stool, door knobs, light switches, and floor directly surrounding the treatment area, will be cleaned and disinfected after every appointment.
  • The bathroom will be cleaned and disinfected after any patient uses it and before new patients arrive, but it is recommended that clients use their own bathrooms before arriving at their appointment to limit the number of areas they come in contact with.
  • As often as possible, the window in the treatment area will be opened to air out the room between and during appointments.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • I will wear a face mask (procedural or surgical approved for medical use)  at all times as required by the CMTO and Ministry of Health.
  • While not required, I will be wearing scrubs during treatments. That outer layer of clothing will be changed between appointments, and laundered and dried on hot settings before it is worn again.
  • Safety Glasses or face shield may be used, but are not required by the CMTO/MOH.
  • Patients are required to wear the face mask I provide at all times. 

In the Event That a Patient Tests Positive for COVID-19 after their massage treatment will immediately report to the Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Public Health Unit, and follow their instructions

Barb will immediately self-isolate until the public health unit has investigated and provided direction.

A log will be kept of all people entering the office/treatment space; including couriers, guardians, clients, etc  to assist with contact tracing if ever required. 

All massage therapy appointments will be cancelled and Barb will cease to provide services until the public health unit has investigated and provided direction.

Asymptomatic Spreaders

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

Informed Consent

In the current environment of Covid-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient be informed and understands that:

  • Any massage therapy treatment involves some risk of Covid-19 transmission;
  • I have policies and procedures in place to help reduce or mitigate risk where possible, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero
  • The patient and the therapist believe the benefits outweigh the risks of the treatment, and the patient consents to treatment after being fully informed of said risks.
  • I will document the patient’s consent in advance and at every treatment.