COVID19 Member Update Regarding Relaunch for Massage Therapists

We wanted to update our members on the steps CRMTA is recommending for the relaunch plan for Massage Therapists. We continue to closely follow and stay in contact with the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services, at this time, all non-essential businesses have been placed in Stage 2 of the provincial relaunch plan, this includes Massage Therapy.  At this time, we have been informed that the Stage 2 provincial relaunch plan may occur around June 19th.

Consideration:

Therapists will need to consider changes that will be required to begin practicing again. CRMTA has not yet released its “return to practice guidelines” as we are still awaiting confirmed guidance from the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services in relation to specific details at this time. CRMTA does not want to cause any undue expenses to our members by releasing unconfirmed requirements.

The Alberta Government has released a document (CMOH Order 16-2020) detailing guidelines for Workplace and Community Health Care Settings.  These guidelines/rules are for all non-essential healthcare workers returning to practice “All staff providing direct client/patient care or working in client/patient care areas must wear a surgical/procedure mask continuously, at all times and in all areas of the workplace if they are either involved in direct client/patient contact or cannot maintain adequate physical distancing (2 meters) from client/patient and co-workers.”

In light of COVID-19 the CRMTA has had many of our members inquiring about PPE equipment and requirements.  CMOH Order 16-220 document and Alberta Government updates we have been following, the only measures for non-essential healthcare workers at this time is:

  • only treating when COVID-19 is not suspected. 
  • reference to specific mask usage
  • cleaning protocols.
  • Until we receive further specifics CRMTA is not advising any other PPE equipment at this time until directed by the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services.
     
  • CRMTA understands that these are uncertain times, and this can cause stress and concerns around re-opening and what massage therapists will require to prepare for the re-opening. 

Currently CRMTA recommends:

  • Assess your treatment and clinic space and plan how you can best allow for 2-meter physical distancing whenever possible.  This includes your reception and waiting areas.
  • Plan how you will include the COVID-19 screening into your practice. 
  • Will this be done with time allotment into the appointment or by email with clients upon booking.  This intake will be a very necessary step for all bookings. 
    • Implement screening measures and intake protocols.
  • We advise therapists to use this time off to set up online booking options to limit contact at reception areas.
  • This is also a good time to sign up for direct billing if you have not already done so.  Direct billing reduces the contact associated to payment.
  • If you are not going to provide online bookings or payments. This is when you will then need to assess how best to ensure safety of yourself and clients during the change over time between clients in common areas and in your treatment space.
  • Create a cleaning and sanitization routine that will accommodate your practice.
  • Create a list of areas that are at direct risk of contact of COVID-19 that will need routine cleaning and disinfecting.  This is specific to all common areas and areas within the treatment space that will have the highest level of touch.
  • Create a schedule for your practice that will accommodate the following:
  • Cleaning and sanitization between clients.
    • Ensure to allow time to maintain social distancing between your clients in common areas. 
    • Allow time for clients to change, pay and leave before the next appointment is to arrive to provide the least amount of people in direct contact and any given time. 
  • Ensure you have proper hygiene supplies, including hand soap, hand sanitizer, towels, linens, masks, and cleaning products.  Reference the government sites for specifics as needed
  • We recommend caution on all soft surfaces that are at risk of contact for COVID-19. Be aware of items such as those listed below.
  • Pillows. Have a vinyl pillowcase cover.
    • Covers on face cradles, disposable or vinyl for cleaning. 
    • Ensure table does not have soft covers such as warmers unless they are also covered by a vinyl barrier. 

CRMTA understands many of our members have concerns regarding re-opening in Stage 2 of the provincial re-launch.  This brings questions on how to prepare.  CRMTA would like to advise that these are preliminary recommendations on areas that are important at this time. 

CRMTA wants to thank all its members for your patience and understanding during this time.

Please visit Alberta Health Services Biz Connect, the site we recommend you use to assist you in your preparations.

COVID19 CRMTA Member Update April 2

Good afternoon CRMTA Members,

We would like to thank you for your efforts in social distancing to protect your family and our community. We understand the sacrifices everyone has made to flatten the curve. While we are working from home we appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time and we look forward to providing full access to our offices once we are able.  As we are working diligently to answer all the questions and concerns that we are receiving, we would like our members to know that we are here to support them in any way we can, we do not have the authority to advise our members on any of the government programs and supports that are being offered, but we do hope that providing the links below will be helpful to our members.  You will also find this information and any CRMTA updates on our website

As you may be aware, the Provincial and Federal Governments have made many announcements over the past few weeks and in those announcements, they have given information on restrictions and supports that are being implemented.  Below you will find recent information and the links mentioned above. If you have any CRMTA questions or concerns please contact us directly.

On March 27th the Alberta Government announced the closure of some non-essential businesses. Restrictions will be in place for:

  • Close-contact businesses (including hair salons and barbershops, tattoo and piercing studios, aesthetic services, as well as wellness studios and clinics and non-emergency and non-critical health services provided by regulated health professionals or registered professionals including dentistry, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry, chiropractic and optometry services.)
  • Dine-in restaurants (will no longer be able to offer dine-in service. Take-out and delivery services will continue to be available.)
  • Non-essential retail services (that fall into the categories of clothing, computer and gaming stores, and services in shopping malls and shopping centres such as hobby and toys, gift and specialty items and furniture.)

On March 27th the Alberta Government also implemented Landlord Restrictions:

  • No one in Alberta will be evicted for non-payment of rent in the month of April.
  • Eviction protection will continue thereafter for the duration of the public emergency for tenants who work with landlords to establish meaningful and reasonable partial payment plans.
  • Evictions of tenants who had not been able to pay rent for the last few months will also be suspended.
  • In addition, landlords will not be allowed to raise rents while the public state of emergency is in effect and any rent increases that had recently been announced will be frozen until the state of emergency is lifted.
  • The province also said that landlords would not be allowed to charge late fees for between April 1 and June 30.
  • These measures apply not only to traditional tenancies but also to mobile home tenancies.

On March 30, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer has announced new recommendations:

  • If you have traveled outside of Canada or if you are showing any symptoms of COVID19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat or running nose) you are to remain on your property and self-isolate for 14 days, it is no longer recommended to leave your property during the self-isolation period.
  • Domestic travel restrictions, if you are showing any signs of COVID19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat or running nose) you will not be allowed to board any domestic flights.

Government Supports

Candian Child Benefit
GST/HST Benefit
Income Tax Filing Date Extension
Mortgage Support
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Apply for Employment Insurance
EI Sickness Benefits
Canada Student Loan Moratorium
Wage Subsidies for Businesses
Business Credit Availability Program

CRMTA COVID19 Member Update March 27

Massage Therapists must cease services effective immediately, until further government notice. If you have not already done so, please postpone all future appointments and stop practicing until we have additional information. Any therapist not abiding by government legal regulations will face potential consequences to their membership status in addition to any Alberta Government fines and sanctions.

See the complete provincial update here.

COVID19 CRMTA Member Update – March 20

Dear CRMTA Members,

With all the rapid changes and updates regarding the Coronavirus and its effect on our members, we wanted to reach out to you again with an update.

As you may be aware, this week on our Facebook page and website, we issued the following statement:

With the developments of the Coronavirus pandemic, CRMTA feels the personal safety of therapists, clients and the public must be prioritized.
Currently, the CRMTA is (strongly) recommending all our therapists temporarily suspend their massage therapy services until at least April 1, 2020.
Michelle Bullock
CRMTA Registrar

We have been receiving numerous questions, calls and emails regarding the effect the COVID-19 pandemic will have on massage therapists. Below are some responses for our members.  

FAQs

1. Why is CRMTA strongly recommending closure and not forcing you to close your practice?

As an association, we do not have the legal authority to force you not to work. However, based on the government’s recommendations, we are strongly recommending that you temporarily suspend your massage therapy services.  

2. If therapists continue practicing, are they still covered under malpractice insurance if a client becomes infected with the coronavirus and pursues legal action against said therapist?

Answer from our legal representative:  

“If a therapist knows they have this virus and causes a client to be infected, that is gross misconduct.” 

If you have travelled, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Failure to do so would also be considered gross misconduct.  

But if they are not showing any signs of infection?

“The answer is very fact dependent. There is no black or white answer, only gray. 

Basically, a therapist must act in a reasonable manner. If they act in a way that a reasonable therapist would not act, then they may be negligent and may not be covered.”

3. Should I close my clinic?

As Alberta has declared a state of health emergency, this means non-essential services and public spaces will be closed until further notice. CRMTA strongly recommends that you follow these directives. We understand that the financial and health risk to close your clinic or practice is complicated and difficult, however, this is an individual decision. CRMTA does not have the legal authority to compel members to close their practice.  

The CRMTA Code of Ethics and your right to refuse treatment states that if it poses a risk to the client or the practitioner, you are to abide by applicable laws, regulations, and legislation.  

We recommend you stay informed of government recommendations. Regularly check government health services for updates on the current status of the virus, hygiene practices for health professionals and workplace preparations. Also, regularly check the CRMTA website and Facebook pages for updates.

4. What can I do to protect myself?  

  • Stay home or self-isolate if you have any symptoms, have travelled or been exposed.
  • Hand hygiene and washing with soap and water
  • Social distancing
  • If you suspect exposure – call 811 Health Services to notify.  
  • Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19. 

5. What impact will the COVID-19 have on my membership?

Although the CRMTA offices are closed this will have no impact on your membership. We are working remotely and can help by phone 780-271-7682 or by email: Edmonton or Calgary.

For members with upcoming renewal dates, please send renewal forms by email to us for processing. 

All documents can be emailed or scanned.  

During this unprecedented time, we will accept a picture of your documents from a phone for registration and renewals.   

All payments will be made online through our insurance provider online. Payments can be made by credit card. If you do not have a credit card, you can purchase a prepaid card at local stores to make payment.

If your continuing education 3-year cycle is due with your upcoming renewal, we are postponing CE requirements for the time being.  

Processing time for renewals, email responses and voicemail replies will be longer than usual. 

We appreciate your understanding while we are doing our best to assist our members remotely.  

6. What is CRMTA doing about employers who are not closing their clinics?

At this time, CRMTA has been contacting clinics and employers informing them of our recommendations for closures as needed. If any CRMTA member has any difficulties, please contact us directly. 

7. Are there any financial resources available?

Wage subsidy

To help prevent layoffs, the government is also eyeing a measure that would provide businesses struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19 with a subsidy equal to 10 percent of employee wages, up to $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. The wage subsidy would cost $3.8 billion, Ottawa estimates.

Tax Deadline

Ottawa is moving the tax-filing deadline from April 30 to June 1 for individuals, mirroring a similar move implemented in the U.S. Canadians will also be able to defer payments on taxes owed.  

Help for Canadian Businesses

The Canadian government will allow businesses to defer payments of income tax amounts until after Aug. 31. No interest or penalties will accumulate.  

The government will also increase the tax credits available to small, medium and large businesses.

On Monday, Trudeau announced the new Business Credit Availability Program, which will provide more than $10 billion in additional support to businesses through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

And, the government said it would “further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support for domestic businesses and provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit so that the government can support Canadian businesses of national interest.”

The government will also augment the credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.

Lastly, the government will launch an Insured Mortgage Protection Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC.

The Government said it will do this by raising CMHC’s legislative limits to “guarantee securities and insure mortgages by $150 billion each,” the release said.

Sickness benefits beyond EI

For Canadians without paid sick leave or access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits, the government is introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit that will provide up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. The benefit, which the government estimates could cost up to $10 billion, is for the worker who must self-isolate, those who are caring for a family member sick with COVID-19 and parents who are unable to earn income while schools are closed as a result of childcare duties.

Unemployment benefits beyond EI

Ottawa will also be extending income supports to workers who lose their jobs or see their hours reduced as a result of the pandemic.

The Canada Revenue Agency will provide up to $5 billion for unemployed workers without access to EI through a new Emergency Support Benefit.

Tips for Staff & CRMTA Members re: COVID19

Staff and students are encouraged to file their 2020 taxes as soon as possible to take advantage of the increased Child Care Benefit if you have already applied. If you have not applied, follow the steps below:

Who can apply? You must meet all of the following:

  • You live with the child who is under 18 years of age
  • You are primarily responsible for the care of the child (for children living in households with both parents, the female parent is generally considered the primary caregiver)
  • You are a resident of Canada
  • You or your spouse must be either:
    • A Canadian citizen
    • A permanent resident
    • A temporary resident that has lived in Canada for at least 18 months
    • An indigenous person

How to apply?

  1. If you didn’t apply for the Child Care Benefit when you registered the birth of your newborn, you can apply online using My Account (your personal CRA account – will need to sign up for this).
    1. Log in to My Account https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
    2. Go to “Apply for child benefits”
    3. Confirm your contact information, your marital status and your citizenship
    4. Add your child’s name, gender, date and place of birth
    5. Review and submit your application
    6. If you’re asked to submit additional documents, go to “Submit documents” in My Account
    7. Benefits are expected to be received within 8 weeks
  2. Fill out and sign Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms/rc66.html
    1. Include any additional documents needed (see the CRA page for information on this)
    2. Mail the form to your tax center (see the CRA page for the correct tax center)
    3. Benefits are expected to be received within 11 weeks

How much do you get? 

The amount is based upon the net income of you and your spouse and the number of children in the household. If your family net income is less than $31,120, you are eligible to receive the maximum benefit of $6,639 per child (under 6 years old) and $5,602 per child (between 6-17 years old). The Federal Government has increased this benefit by $300 per child in response to COVID-19.

Information link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/canada-child-benefit-overview.html

GST/HST Credit

Staff and students are encouraged to file their 2020 taxes as soon as possible to take advantage of the increased GST/HST credit.

Who can apply? 

  • Individuals over the age of 19
  • You have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner
  • You are (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child (parents in shared custody situations may be eligible for half the credit)

Currently, the maximum benefits (benefits are dependent on family net income) are as follows:

  • $443 if you are single
  • $580 if you are married or living common-law
  • $153 for each child under the age of 19

The Federal Government announced that these benefits would double (i.e. $886 for a single person) to assist low-medium income families as part of the relief package.

New residents to Canada (i.e. international students who have not filed a tax return before) will need to apply for this credit. See the following link for this application: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/forms/rc151.html

Individuals that are applying to get the benefit for their child will automatically receive the credit if they applied for the Child Care Benefit. If they haven’t applied for the Child Care Benefit, apply using the same information in the section above. 

Information link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/goods-services-tax-harmonized-sales-tax-gst-hst-credit.html

COVID-19 Update – March 18, 2020

Dear Members,

CRMTA has been closely following the COV19 pandemic and all the government suggestions. At this time, we want our members to understand the severity of this health emergency and the importance of everyone working to flatten the curve of this pandemic.

With the developments of the Coronavirus pandemic, CRMTA feels the personal safety of therapists, clients and the public must be prioritized.

At this time, the CRMTA is recommending all our therapists temporarily suspend their massage therapy services until at least April 1, 2020.

We understand this is a very difficult decision for all practitioners and clinics. But on recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and the recommendations of Alberta Health Services and now with the Alberta government declaring a state of public emergency, we truly feel this is necessary.

The CRMTA acknowledges that the decision to shut down your practice is incredibly difficult. We understand this can cause financial hardships, and our recommendation does not come lightly. We have been monitoring the situation as it develops and feel at this time it is the only possible recommendation we can make.

Please know as your association we are here to offer our support, and although our offices will be closed at this time, your CRMTA team will be working from home to continue to serve you. Please feel free to contact us during this closure, and we will do our best to assist our members.

CRMTA will continue to watch and speak with our government partners to keep our members updated during this time.

Please continue to monitor this pandemic and take care of yourselves and your families at this time.

Michelle Bullock
CRMTA Registrar

2020 CRMTA AGM and Conference Postponed

NOTICE TO MEMBERS:

CRMTA appreciates and supports all our CRMTA members. In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, you may be aware of many events and gatherings that have been postponed.  As such, we are following Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Minister’s mandate to postpone any gatherings over 250 people. CRMTA takes these precautions very seriously.

We will be postponing the upcoming May 1 – 3 AGM and Conference to a later date. 

We appreciate everyone’s support and we apologize for any inconvenience. 

For those members who are concerned about the effect this postponement will have with their continuing education credits and fulfilling their 3-year cycle requirements, please reach out to us:

Ph: 780-271-7682

Tabitha in Calgary

Louise in Edmonton

Please see the updates on our website for Alberta Health Service’s recommendations to health care practitioners, as well as posters you could display for your clinic and clients. 

Stay current with Alberta Health Services updates by visiting their website.

Stay healthy!  We will keep you updated with any changes. 

CRMTA SOAP Notes Expectation Available Now!

CRMTA SOAP NOTE EXPECTATIONS

The CRMTA SOAP Note Expectations are available now!

SOAP notes are a massage therapist’s clinical health records. SOAP stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment Plan. In keeping with the CRMTA Health Care Records Policy, the CRMTA SOAP Notes policy contains specific comments relating to the keeping of SOAP notes. The CRMTA Health Record Policy governs if there is any confusion or discrepancy between the CRMTA SOAP policy and the CRMTA Health Care Records Policy.

For more information view the complete CRMTA SOAP Notes Expectation or contact your CRMTA Representative today.

Volunteers Needed for Conference & AGM!

volunteers-needed
CRMTA will hold its Annual Conference & AGM May 26-28 at the Delta Calgary South, and we’re looking for volunteers to help prior to and during the conference. Volunteer details are included below. See bottom of page for general commitments and qualifications for all committees.

The AGM & Conference will run from noon on Friday, May 26 until 1 p.m. Sunday, May 28. Learn more about the conference or Contact Us for more information.

Conference Program & Speakers

  • Determine Conference Goals and Theme
  • Determine Conference Budget
  • Review deadlines & application for “Call for Speakers” as set by the Educational Initiatives Committee with the CRMTA Association Staff.
  • Chair the Educational Sessions Selection Committee to review educational session proposals as proposed by the Educational Initiatives Committee.
  • Work with the CRMTA Association Staff in the coordination & development of educational session evaluations.
  • Prepare Draft Program to be forwarded to Marketing committee for distribution
  • Secure event emcee
  • Solicit featured speakers (i.e. plenary speakers, panel discussions, etc.).
  • Determine and book Conference Facility (including preparation of draft floorplans)
  • Coordinate additional educational initiatives that will enhance the conference experience of attendees (pre-conference sessions, extended sessions, mid-conference sessions, panels, etc.)
  • Work in collaboration with the CRMTA Association Staff, the Program Committee and the CRMTA Educational Initiatives Committee to identify educational needs of CRMTA membership.
  • Facilitate “thank you” efforts for all Conference presenters.
  • Invite dignitaries (as appropriate to conference).  (Ex. Mayor, MLA, MP, etc.)
  • Ensure volunteers are confirmed to track attendance & disseminate any information necessary to presenters or attendees (i.e. evaluations, AV, etc.)

Trade Show

  • Revise and send out tradeshow packages to potential vendors
  • Secure giveaway items for delegate bag
  • Submit requirements for signage (or special requests) to coordinator
  • Determine placements for signage and order
  • Ensure final tradeshow invoicing is accurate and complete so finance department can invoice
  • Liaise with vendors and help direct set up and teardown
  • Liaise with tradeshow equipment suppliers and help direct set up and teardown
  • Create evaluation form, ensure vendors complete and compile report on feedback

Sponsorship

  • Revise and send out sponsorship packages to potential supporters
  • Secure major sponsor logos as deals are signed
  • Submit requirements for signage (or special requests) to coordinator
  • Determine placements for signage and order
  • Ensure final sponsorship invoicing is accurate and complete so finance department can invoice
  • Submit ‘final report’ and thank you to funders

Volunteer Coordination

  • Coordinate the recruitment, training, supervision & recognition of all conference volunteers
  • Assign volunteers to on-site conference duties, such as assembling registration bags, staffing on-site registration, staffing local arrangements information table, identifying restaurants & local activities, moderating / introducing sessions, collecting meal tickets as needed, bring-and-brag table, etc.
  • Working with the CRMTA Association Staff & the Annual Conference Program Chair, identify volunteer needs throughout the conference.
  • Recruit, interview, select & supervise volunteers that will work with the Annual Conference Program Committee on various projects.

Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony

  • Determine theme in conjunction with program committed
  • Awards will recognize individuals and organizations committed to enriching the Massage Therapy industry and who, by their actions,, inspire others and demonstrate what can be achieved by working together.
  • The 2017 Awards committee is seeking judges for this year’s awards in the following categories: Marketing Excellence, Service Excellence, Industry Elevation
    • The Judging Process:
      • All entries received by the application deadline will be reviewed by the Committee for eligibility purposes.  All eligible entries are then sent to the judges to individually score and then submit to an independent auditor.  The auditor tabulates the scores for each entry and inform the Award Committee of the results
      • The amount of time required depends on the number of submissions in the category; however, most judges devote 8-10 hours scoring the submissions. Judges must have access to the internet during this time.

General Commitment/Qualifications for Committees:

September-May:

  • Three to four conference calls for each committee will be set up through the planning process
  • Approximately 2-10 hours per month depending on portfolio

Approximately one month out: One full day meeting in Calgary (May 6, 2017)

During the Conference:

Note: Schedules depend on specific areas of participation.

Interested individuals must be a resident of Alberta and should be actively involved in or affiliated in some capacity with the Massage Therapy industry in Alberta.

In order to effectively participate in planning and execution of tasks, committee members must have access to the internet and be able to use tools such as DropBox, Outlook, Skype, etc.

Committee members will serve a term of two years and may re-submit their name for remaining on the committee after their initial term is served.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please submit your bio or contact us at [email protected]