Covid-19 Risk Reduction Policy and Procedures
Ongoing pandemic best practices Public health officials have indicated that COVID-19 is expected to continue to circulate in the general population for an extended period. As such, ongoing measures to control the spread of the disease are anticipated, including requirements to practise physical distancing of at least two metres (six feet) and increased screening for signs, symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19.
Patients should also be encouraged to make use of COVID-19 resources by calling 811 or visiting healthlinkbc.ca. therapists will screen for risk factors and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to attendance at the practice environment and ask for consent to treatment.
To promote social distancing in waiting rooms patients may be asked to remain in their car until five minutes prior to the start of their appointment. New patients should be encouraged to complete intake forms online or print and complete forms before coming into the clinic. The number of chairs in the waiting room will be reduced, will be only plastic, cleanable chairs (not fabric) and placed 6 feet apart and cleaned regularly.
Clutter will be minimized in the waiting room (e.g. no magazines, books, or children’s toys) and all items that cannot be washed are removed (e.g. Fabric upholstered waiting room chairs).
Beverages and snacks/candy bowls will not be offered at this time, if patients need water reception or a practitioner will provide that in a disposable cup to minimize the number of people touching water coolers and to allow for disinfecting each time.
In facilities that have multiple doors and therapists the clinic itself can be utilized to maximize social distancing by having a one-way flow of traffic through the clinic. Also consider extending hours and staggering shifts to create an environment that allows for social distancing of patients in common areas.
Signage will be placed at the front door asking patients to not enter the clinic if they have any of the signs, symptoms or travel risks associated with COVID-19.
A hand sanitization station is available upon clinic entry.
Practitioners and staff will work in dedicated offices (or in the case of staff at dedicated stations) and not share oil bottles, cleaning/disinfecting bottles, lotions, tables, phones, desks, tools, and equipment where possible. Avoid sharing pens, disinfect pens and clipboards after each patient uses one if they are filling out intake forms manually.
Hand washing signs will be posted in all Washrooms. Touchless trash receptacles, soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers are used. Washrooms will be more thoroughly cleaned twice per day with common contact points wiped down each time a therapist uses the washroom to wash their own hands.
Commonly touched surfaces include doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, light switches, cabinet handles, faucet handles, tables, countertops and electronics. When cleaning public spaces, products will be used that clean and disinfect all at once. The cleaning items that we are using are on the approved hard-surface disinfectants list and have an 8-digit drug identification number given by health Canada to assure that the item is effective, approved and safe.
We have a daily cleaning protocol that will be used for the public areas of the clinic and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of cleaning and disinfecting products. All common touch areas of the clinic are cleaned and sanitized frequently. Paper towels and cleaning wipes will be properly disposed of between every use or in the case of cloths laundered between every use. Removal of trash each day and relining the receptacles before leaving work.
As an extra measure of precaution we will record cleaning activities on a cleaning log to ensure a more regular protocol of cleaning and disinfecting is being followed.
Social distancing cannot be upheld during certain therapies like physio or massage therapy treatment. PPE is in short supply even for those on the front line and we cannot create competition for those items. Additionally, some insurers will require that the following Items are required OR recommended OR unnecessary for use in massage therapy practice:
*Note Gloves do not offer any protection over regular and rigorous handwashing that is typical of massage therapy practice. Gloves are recommended during cleaning, intra-oral work (as per normal practice), and in the case of cuts or open injuries on the patient or the therapist (as per normal practice). Gloves are always discarded after every use. If the patient is comforted by the use of gloves, they can be used.
We will be encouraging emailed receipts and will be encouraging taking tap payment for services under $100