Massage Therapy Practice Communicable Disease Prevention Protocol
Updated April 9th, 2023. Clinical Practice Covid-19 Safety Plan.
The following reflects the Provincial Health Officer's April 6th, 2023 announcement to end BC's indoor mask mandate in "health-care settings."
This Communicable Disease Prevention Plan, including Covid-19 prevention, is in accordance with the requirements set by the
BC Centre for Disease Control and WorkSafe BC.
- Patient symptoms of illness, exposure, and travel screening will continue prior to all scheduled appointments. The patient will be contacted 24-48 hours before their appointment time to complete the screening. Reschedule your appointment and stay home if you are unwell. Patients are required to complete pre-treatment screening questions with the RMT prior to every appointment. The patient will receive a text message the day before their scheduled appointment. If the patient answers "yes" to any of the questions, they must thoroughly discuss their answer with the RMT to assess eligibility for receiving treatment; this ensure the lowest possible risk to the RMT's practice environment. It is mandatory to complete this pre-treatment screening; any incomplete screening will result in the appointment being automatically canceled. If a patient has been found to be withholding information, or not honestly/fully disclosing symptoms or exposure risk information that is pertinent to the safety of the RMT's clinic environment, the therapeutic relationship with this patient will be terminated immediately and the patient will not be welcome to return to the clinic to receive further massage therapy care from the RMT.
- If a patient develops symptoms of illness and/or tests positive for Covid-19 within 72 hour AFTER receiving treatment from the RMT, it is essential that the patient notify the RMT immediately, so that the RMT may mitigate transmission risk to other patients.
- If the patient or RMT have an exposure to an individual who has tested positive for Covid-19, a thorough discussion between the parties is essential to assess the risk of transmission, as well as measures to mitigate risk to both parties and other clients. Informed consent must be obtained by both parties prior to the appointment to proceed with treatment, and the benefits of treatment must outweigh the risks of transmission. Either party may choose to postpone the appointment to a later date.
- If the patient or RMT tests positive for Covid-19, or develops symptoms of other illness, the appointment must be canceled and may not be rescheduled until fever has resolved for 24+ hours, symptoms have lessened to the point of feeling well, and a minimum of 5 days has passed, before rescheduling a massage therapy appointment.
- Hand washing/sanitization measures will remain necessary prior to entering the clinic, during your appointment and post treatment. Hand washing/sanitizing posters will be displayed in the washrooms and staff kitchen.
There will be hand sanitizer and tissues available at the clinic entrance, in the treatment room and in the washroom. Patients will wash for a minimum of 20 seconds and/or sanitize their hands immediately upon entering the clinic and immediately prior to leaving. The RMT will open and close all doors for the patient to avoid unnecessary contact with doorknobs.
Hands will be sanitized/washed prior to donning/doffing a mask, and the mask will be immediately disposed of/laundered. Face shields and gloves are available for therapist use, at the patient's request.
MASK UPDATE: Despite the Provincial Mask Mandate being lifted on April 6th, 2023, masks are required to be worn during appointment for the remainder of April 2023 due to the number of people who traveled during spring break. A number of Covid-related appointment cancelations occurred after April 1st (the week after spring break); masking will continue to mitigate the risk of illness for all patients, especially those who are immunocompromised/high-risk, as well as for the practitioner. Optional masking is anticipated to begin as of May 1st, 2023; however, patients will be asked to continue masking for the following reasons: high-risk or immunocompromised patients, travel within the past 5 days, exposure to someone who is unwell, known exposure to anyone with Covid-19 (masked or otherwise), and/or lingering symptoms of illness (including cough or runny nose) provided it has been more than 5 days since acute illness (otherwise, please reschedule). PLEASE RESCHEUDLE IF: you or a household member have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 5 days and/or are still symptomatic, AND/OR you are exhibiting any symptoms of infection/illness, such as sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, even if not Covid-specific. Patients are encouraged to bring and wear their own mask. Disposable masks will be provided to patients as needed and disposed of in a lined waste bin after a single use. Please ensure that the ear loops on all disposable masks are cut, prior to disposal, to avoid harming wildlife.
To prevent congestion and maintain physical distancing in our busy entry area, practitioners will continue to meet their patients outside of the clinic for their scheduled appointment times. The patient may wait in their vehicle or outside the clinic entrance, until their practitioner collects them for their treatment. The clinic door will remain locked.
- Patients will attend their appointment unaccompanied, unless it is a required caregiver, translator or consenting adult for a minor. If a person from the same household has a scheduled appointment immediately before or after the patient’s appointment, they must wait elsewhere until their scheduled appointment time, as our waiting area remains closed.
- A treatment room Hepa/Carbon air purifier will be utilized before, during and after treatments to ensure the best air quality possible.
- **UPDATE: Not accepting new clients at this time.** All forms will be emailed to new patients to be printed and completed at home and brought to their scheduled appointment. If a home printer is not available, the forms may be filled out and emailed back (to firstname.lastname@example.org) the day before the scheduled appointment, to allow time for printing the forms prior to patient arrival.
- An initial Covid-19 screening/informed consent form must be completed and signed immediately before the treatment. All appointments will be cancelled, if either the RMT or patient do not pass the screening criteria or consent is not obtained.
- Intraoral TMJ treatments may be administered if the patient requests this treatment or the therapist recommends it, if indicated and deemed necessary; only after determining that the benefit outweighs the risk for this treatment type and informed-consent is obtained from the patient, as the patient's mask will have to be removed from their mouth. This increases exposure and transmission risk for both the patient and the therapist. Extra-oral TMJ and facial treatments will continue outside of the masked area, with informed-consent from the patient.
- Hydrotherapy devices are permitted to be used, including heating pads and table warmers, provided they are covered by a water-proof cover that can be washed between uses or thoroughly sanitized; fleece and foam table covers are permitted, provided they are fully covered by a waterproof cover that is able to be sanitized.
- Cash payments are now accepted. Preferred payment via tap Visa/Mastercard ($250 tap limit), debit Interac ($100 tap limit) or bank e-transfers. The POS machine will be sanitized between each use. All treatment receipts will be emailed.
- Diligent sanitization and cleaning protocols will remain in place for your continued protection. All points-of-contact in the treatment room will be sanitized between patients, including the massage table, face cradle, oil bottle, light switches, doorknobs, POS machine, tablet, hand sanitizer dispenser, patient’s chair, therapist’s stool, phone, pen, clipboard, desk, etc.
- A clean plastic bin will be provided to place the patient's personal belongings in during the treatment, including clothing, purse, wallet, cell phone, jewelry, etc. The bin will be sanitized between uses.
- All blankets, sheets, towels, pillowcases, fleece/flannel face cradle covers and cloth masks will be changed and laundered in hot, soapy water after each patient.
- All high-contact points in the washroom will be cleaned throughout the day. This includes doorknobs, light switches, toilet seat/flush handle, toilet paper holder, taps/faucet, sink, soap dispenser, paper towel dispenser.
- All garbage cans will be contact-free and lined with plastic bags. These will be emptied at the end of each day and lined with clean liners.
Reusable drinking glasses and the candy dish have been removed from the clinic. Patients are advised to bring their own bottle of drinking water. Bottled water may be requested, if necessary.
Thank you for your continued care, understanding, and cooperation!