How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect my membership?
The COVID-19 pandemic will have no effect on your membership as we are all working from home, that has brought some adjustments to how we serve our members. We are working through large volumes of emails, paperwork, questions, and requests coming in. Below please find information on membership information.
- Current Active members with a renewal date in April and those that are up for renewal in May are currently being processed. Renewal notices for May and June are being emailed out over the next 7-10 days. We are processing the paperwork in the order in which it was received. Members will receive an emailed PDF of their insurance and CRMTA membership once processed. A physical copy can be requested when we return to the CRMTA office. We will be prioritizing the renewals for Active members to alleviate a gap in insurance for those members. CRMTA will also be deferring police checks, CE Credits and First Aid requirements until each member’s 2021 annual renewal date.
- Current Associate members who have recently reached 2200 hours of training and are looking to move into the Active status already have an insurance policy in place. While the industry as a whole is closed, we will be working to switch you over to Active status. Rest assured it will be in line with the Stage 2 reopening plan and you should not have a delay in being able to practice when our industry has been reopened, as long as all other educational requirements have been met. More information to follow shortly. In an effort to support members, CRMTA will also be deferring police checks, CE Credits and First Aid requirements until each member’s 2021 annual renewal dates. Please know these deferrals will not affect your policy or ability to obtain your new status at this time.
- Current Student members who have recently reached their first year 1250 hours of training and are looking to move into Associate status will be deferred about 30 days until we have a clearer picture of when Stage 2 of the Provincial Reopening Plan will begin. Since student members will be receiving a brand-new insurance policy, there are no concerns about having gaps in insurance coverage. Therefore, waiting to switch from a student to associate membership until we have a clearer picture of the stage 2 reopening plan makes more sense to ensure that members making this transition will have closer to a full year of working coverage.
Does the COVID-19 pandemic affect my liability insurance?
If a therapist does not knowingly put a client or the public at risk they are protected. To work in a situation that is unsafe falls under misconduct and would affect your insurance.
Can I deliver services online or by video communications?
CRMTA will allow virtual sessions for our members to provide home care and support during this time. This is dependent on therapists utilizing this as a support service for their clients during the COVID19 pandemic. We want to ensure that everyone can do their part to stay home until the serious public health emergency with Covid19 has officially ended.
This care method is not suitable for every client and as we are all aware massage therapy cannot be performed without the element of touch. However, as therapists you can support your clients during this time with education and support on home care strategies.
This is a great service to offer your clients during this time and may assist you with client retention upon reopening. Some therapists will charge clients a small fee for video sessions and some will offer this as a free service to benefit and support their clients and business. Keep in mind therapists cannot bill this service as a full massage therapy session, for insurance covered services.
A Virtual Session can consist of the following:
- Stretches and exercises- with awareness that you cannot ensure your client is correctly performing them and will need follow-up and reassessment.
- Hydrotherapy such as hot/cold/contrast therapy can be recommended with using caution about any contraindications and risks. A health intake and clear instructions are vital.
- Client instruction on self-care using (foam rollers, balls, etc.) can be recommended but again with caution on usage and safety.
- Self-massage can also be recommended with guidance on basic techniques that do not cause any injury.
Please note that your CRMTA liability insurance covers you for these areas of practice. In no way do these suggestions replace that of a physiotherapist, chiropractor, kinesiology or fitness specialist. We merely give basic guidance on options our clients can safely perform for their own care in between appointments to improve their conditions.
Can I still treat family members during physical distancing?
You can treat your family members at home if they are in isolation with you. Remember that treating family members is not recommended for insurance purposes. At this time insurance is monitoring insurance submissions as massage has not been approved until Stage 2.
How is CRMTA supporting its members?
In an effort to support members, we are monitoring all announcements and how the pandemic is impacting our members and adjusting our measures as needed. CRMTA will be deferring police checks, CE Credits and First Aid requirements until each member’s 2021 annual renewal dates. Please know these deferrals will not affect your policy or ability to obtain your new status at this time.
What kinds of Continuing Education programs can I do at home?
CRMTA is offering many online continuing educations programs that you can do at home.
How can I meet my First Aid and CPR requirements with physical distancing?
In an effort to support members, CRMTA will be deferring police checks, CE Credits and First Aid requirements until each member’s 2021 annual renewal dates. Please know these deferrals will not affect your policy or ability to obtain your new status at this time.
Are there any First Aid providers offering online programs?
They can do an online Red Cross or St. Johns approved course. Note this will require a deferred completion of the practical components at a later date. CRMTA will be hosting this training when operations resume to assist our members. See a complete list of approved first aid providers here.
When can I return to work?
Alberta’s relaunch strategy has not given a set date or specifics on the Stage 2 relaunch. We are aware that details will be dependent on the success and health indications determined in the Stage 1 relaunch.
Therefore, until we have this information it is hard to speculate on the outcomes and how that will affect therapists. We do expect there will be new protocols that will affect therapists, and we will need to follow those guidelines and protocols as put forth by the Alberta government.
At this time, the government has not yet released any indication as to the personal protective equipment (PPE) or safety guidelines that will be necessary for Stage 2. Please be aware that CRMTA is following all government updates as this information becomes available and will do our best to keep our members informed.
At this time, we recommend therapists educate themselves on infection control and have made available a free AHS workshop online. This course is worth 1 primary credits toward your CE.
What can I do to help my practice if I am not working right now?
Video conferencing. Many therapists are offering incentives such as reduced gift certificate purchases. Offering more hours upon reopening. Some are offering mask and PPE sales. Some are promoting self-care on their social media and on website with home care and other options.
Should I close my practice?
Practice should already be closed until we have dates of the Stage 2 reopen and the guidelines that will be directed to us through Alberta Health Services. This has not yet been provided and CRMTA is awaiting further details.
What safety precautions can I take?
To help protect you and your family against all respiratory illnesses, including flu and COVID-19, you should:
- Wash your hands often and well
- Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay at home as much as possible, and practice physical distancing when you do leave home: keep at least 6 feet from others when going out for groceries, medical trips and other essential needs
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
- Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health
- When sick, cover your cough and sneezes and then wash your hands
If you choose to wear a non-medical mask or face covering:
- Ensure your mask is well-fitted and does not gape at the sides.
- Be aware that masks can become contaminated on the outside. Avoid moving or adjusting the mask. Assume the mask has been contaminated and take proper precautions.
- Critically, if you wear a mask, you must wash your hands before putting it on, as well as before and after taking it off.
- Cloth masks should be worn only a short time, as there is some evidence that they can trap virus particles after they become damp, which may put the wearer at greater risk.
- For those choosing to wear non-medical masks, it may be prudent to carry a bag with several clean masks in it, as well as a plastic bag that can be used to safely store used masks until they can be washed at home.
- It is critical that used masks be carefully handled to avoid spreading infection to others.
See appropriate infection prevention and control precautions for health-care settings
Where can I find Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
The Alberta Government announced that they will be posting distributors for PPE on the Alberta Biz Connect website.
How can I stay informed?
Please continue to visit the Government of Canada website, Alberta Government website and Alberta Health Services website. Also check your inbox for any updates from CRMTA.
What can I do to manage my mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed ways on how to manage stress during these uncertain times.
Which is a free service providing three months of daily Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)–based text messages written by mental health therapists.
An Alberta-based innovation, Text4Hope is an evidence-based tool that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors a pandemic might be expected to provoke.
Through a set of daily messages, people receive advice and encouragement helpful in developing healthy personal coping skills and resiliency.
What Financial assistance is available to me?
The Government of Canada has introduced many financial supports. For individuals, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) are among the supports for individuals. Please visit here for more information on supports the Government of Canada is offering.