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Massage Therapy Practice Communicable Disease Prevention Protocol

Updated March 12th, 2022. Clinical Practice Covid-19 Safety Plan.

The following reflects the April 4th,  2022  College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia update regarding the Provincial Health Officer's March 10th announcement to end BC's indoor mask requirement, except for 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.

  1. Patient symptoms of illness screening will continue prior to all scheduled appointments. The patient will be contacted 24-48 hours before their appointment time to complete the screening. Stay home and reschedule your appointment if you or your household members are unwell. The patient is required to complete pre-treatment screening questions with the RMT prior to every  appointment. The patient will receive a phone call (for initial patients) or text message (for subsequent patients) 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, to 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; the patient will not be welcome to return to the clinic to receive further massage therapy care from the RMT. 
  2. 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. 
  3. If the patient or RMT have an exposure to an individual who has tested positive for Covid-19, the exposed individual will call 811 for guidance. As per the current guidelines (verified with 811 on Jan. 27th, 2022), a vaccinated individual must self-monitor for symptoms for 5-10 days; an unvaccinated individual must self-isolate for 10 days. Though self-isolation is not required for vaccinated individuals, it is respectfully asked that treatments be canceled during the initial 5 day window after a known exposure for a vaccinated individual (10 days for an unvaccinated individual) and that both parties are symptom-free before the appointment is rescheduled.
  4. If the patient or RMT tests positive for Covid-19, or develops symptoms of illness, the appointment must be canceled and may not be rescheduled until the fever has resolved for 24+ hours, their symptoms have lessened to the point that they feel well, and a minimum of 5 days has passed for vaccinated individuals and 10 days has passed for unvaccinated individuals, before they may reschedule their massage therapy appointment. 
  5. If the patient, RMT or someone they spend time with are currently awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test, the appointment must be canceled until negative Covid-19 test results are obtained, and the individual is symptom-free. 
  6. Hand washing/sanitization measures will remain necessary prior to entering the clinic, during your appointment and post treatment. Hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing posters will be displayed in common areas, the treatment room and washroom. 
  7. 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.

  8. 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. 

  9. MASK WEARING:   On March 10, 2022, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) issued a notice stating that wearing a mask in public indoor settings is no longer required by public health. However, on April 1, 2022, the PHO issued a guidance letter to all BC health regulatory colleges, including CMTBC, that included the following paragraph:

    “In addition to following masking requirements established by employers and operators as part of their workplace communicable disease plans, I recommend the continued use of medical masks by practitioners and patients/clients in medical offices, private practices and other settings when there is close, in-person patient/client contact.”

    This means wearing medical masks during treatment is recommended by the PHO, but not mandatory; however, due to the close-contact nature of massage therapy,  masks will continue to be mandatory while visiting the Station Wellness Collective  for the foreseeable future, to ensure the health and safety of our practitioners and patients.  Patients are encouraged to bring and wear their own mask. Masks are required for the full length of the appointment, for both therapist and patient. 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.

  10. 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. The patient will maintain 2 meters of physical distance while waiting for their practitioner and upon entering the clinic.

  11. 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.
  12. A treatment room Hepa/Carbon air purifier will be utilized before, during and after treatments to ensure the best air quality possible.
  13. **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 the day before the scheduled appointment, to allow time for printing the forms prior to patient arrival.
  14. 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.
  15.  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.
  16. 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.
  17.  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.
  18. Everything that cannot be sanitized has been removed from the treatment room, including fabric furnishings, books, non-essential décor items, etc.
  19. 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.
  20.  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.
  21. 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.
  22.  All high-contact points in the washroom will be cleaned several times per day. This includes doorknobs, light switches, toilet seat/flush handle, toilet paper holder, taps/faucet, sink, soap dispenser, paper towel dispenser.
  23. 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.
  24. 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 as we evolve, adapt and pivot with this ever-changing pandemic!
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