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.
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.