Registered Massage Therapists are directed under the legislation of the government of British Columbia, as well as the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) to mitigate risk by creating a critically thought out plan to return to clinical practice. This plan was created with required guidelines approved by both governing bodies and the recommended practice guidelines provided by the Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC (RMTBC). This plan will change and be updated as the requirements provided by these parties change. The overall aim of this plan and resulting protocols is to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus and potential coronavirus transmission, for both patients and RMT within our clinical setting, by outlining:
- Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of COVID – 19 related illness in both the patient and therapist.
- Physical Distancing measures for all non-treatment interactions.
- Hand hygiene requirements
- Avoidance of face touching
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Professional Obligations with respect to informed consent & liability insurance
1.0 Self-Assess for symptoms and return when healthy: For patients and Tara Tait, RMT
PRE-SCREENING – PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
1.1 A notice of new procedures, including provisions made for Personal protective Equipment (PPE), that have been implemented due to COVID-19, will be available at http// covid she knows health. There will also be this website reference on the online booking site at https://sheknowshealth.janeapp.com and in email communication. Patients either book appointments via the online booking system or by email and, therefore, will be considered informed about the new procedures.
1.2 Patients understand that a specific COVID-19 screening will be required at every appointment. A COVID-19 Patient Release of Liability and Waiver will be required before treatment, and states:
I confirm my understanding of the following regarding COVID-19 and the risks associated with massage therapy treatment:
- The novel coronavirus causes the disease known as COVID-19, which is contagious and presents a risk of exposure anywhere that people are present. Scientific and public knowledge regarding the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 and associated risks is still developing and any current recommendations or understanding of the disease may change over time.
- COVID-19 may have a long incubation period during which carriers of the virus may not show symptoms and still be contagious.
- In some cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe illness and death.
- Symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies.
- An appointment must be cancelled immediately if either the patient or the therapist presents with even mild symptoms that may be signs of Covid-19 including:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat or pain with swallowing
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Covid-19 Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Patients are required to cancel appointments if they experience what they determine to be ‘just the sniffles,’ ‘seasonal allergies’ or ‘just feeling under the weather,’ on the day of their appointment.
- Patients must confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone testing positive to COVID-19, displaying illness, or signs and symptoms of COVID- 19 within 14 days prior to their treatment including at the time of treatment.
- The treatment will be cancelled immediately if the patient does not meet the pre-screening criteria upon physical presentation at the clinic.
- The nature of massage therapy treatments makes it impossible to comply with the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer’s current social distancing recommendations of maintaining a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) between persons.
- Even if steps are taken to reduce the risk to me, I understand that it is not possible to eliminate the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 during massage therapy treatment and during my time at SHE Knows Health. I understand that there is some risk of contracting the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 as a result of my attendance for massage therapy treatment.
I confirm my understanding that I am under no obligation to sign this Release of Liability, and that I am free to decline to sign the Release of Liability at any time. There will be no penalty for cancellation of my associated massage therapy appointment if I decide not to sign the Release of Liability and do not proceed with treatment as a result.
In entering into this Release of Liability, I am not relying on any oral or written representations or statements made by Tara Tait with respect to the risks of transmission of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19, other than what is written in this Release of Liability.
I confirm that I sign this Release of Liability voluntarily and that I am at least eighteen (18) years of age.
I confirm that by signing this Release of Liability, I understand the risk that I could be exposed to or infected with the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 and that this may include, and is not limited to, exposure or infection as the result of actions, omissions, and/or negligence of others, howsoever caused, including other patients, Tara Tait, and SHE Knows Health.
I agree to waive any and all claims that I have or may in the future have against Tara Tait & SHE Knows Health, arising out of or in any way related to transmission of or contact with the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 as a result of my attendance for massage therapy treatment.
1.3 Before booking your appointment please complete, thoroughly and honestly, the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool at https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en Do not book an appointment if you answered yes any of the questions and contact 8-1-1 or your family physician to find out how to get tested for COVID-19.
1.4 Tara Tait, RMT will use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool herself on treatment days and will cancel appointments if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and will immediately call public health at 8-1-1 and/or her family physician for further direction and testing.
(a) If testing is positive, patients will be informed and Tara Tait, RMT will not return to practice until cleared by a public health official, AND the fever is gone without medication, AND she is feeling better, AND not before 10 days beyond the onset of symptoms
(b) If her spouse, or any other close contact becomes ill, she will cancel appointments and only return to practice once negative testing results come back or clearance to return from a public health official.
1.5 One day prior to your appointment, you will be emailed a clinical survey that needs to be completed, thoroughly and honestly. This will be added to your medical records chart at SHE Knows Health. The survey will instruct you that you may keep your appointment or to cancel your appointment immediately (no cancellation fee will be charged) and contact 8-1-1 or your family physician to find out how to get tested for COVID-19.
1.6 If you are a patient with greater risk/a higher risk profile/ a weakened immune system, please seek alternatives for care at this time.
Massage Therapy treatment will only be provided when both therapist and patient agree that the benefits of massage therapy outweigh the risk to the patient, which includes possible transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Therefore, I will not be treating those with greater risk at this time.
1.7 Patients who are health care workers (HCW) and who have been exposed to patients with COVID-19 or patients with symptoms of COVID-19: Please consult the risk assessment tool offered here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-professionals/clinical-resources/covid-19-care/testing-and-case-management-for-healthcare-workers
If you fall into the No Risk category, you may book your treatment. This risk assessment tool will be preformed upon arrival as well.
1.8 Patients who develop even mild illness or symptoms should cancel booked appointments immediately, even without notice (no cancelation fee will be charged).
1.9 Patients will not be charged a cancellation fee if they cancel due to illness during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
SCREENING UPON ARRIVAL
1.9 The patient understands that at the first massage therapy treatment back, after the cessation of massage therapy due to COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an informed consent discussion. The informed consent discussion will address the fact that there is always a risk of transmission of the coronavirus from the clinic space, from Tara Tait, and during massage therapy treatment, and that I have done everything I can to minimize the risk.
1.10 At every appointment, the patient will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening survey. Any questions the patient has, are encouraged to be asked. If patient does not agree to sign this form, they will cancel their appointment with no cancelation fee charged.
1.11 The RMT will cancel treatment if patient does not meet the pre-screening criteria.
1.12 The patient will cancel the treatment, at any point, (with no cancelation fee charged) if they do not feel safe, in any way, at the clinic or receiving treatment for any reason.
2.0 Physical Distancing
RECEPTION / ENTRY
2.1 Clinic area is small, including entrance. RMT and patient will try to keep as much space as possible between them at all times. Physical distancing is not possible in the entry room.
2.2 Patient must arrive unaccompanied.
2.3 Patients are required to have all forms complete before entering the clinic.
2.4 Signage will be placed at the front door asking patient to not enter the clinic if they have any of the signs, symptoms, or travel risks associated with COVID-19
2.5 Patient may enter once survey is complete, and RMT has confirmed by cell phone/ text message it safe to enter and the door is opened. If the door is still closed, I am still preparing for you. Please wait in your car until notified to come to the entrance.
2.6 Patient will not touch anything unnecessarily.
2.7 It is not possible to maintain physical distancing in the treatment room
WASHROOM FOR PATIENT USE
2.8 All contact points in the washroom will be cleaned and disinfected after every use. The washroom has been equipped with a touch-less soap dispenser, single use hand cloth and foot pedal trash can.
2.9 Hand washing protocols are posted in washroom.
3.0 Hand Hygiene
RECEPTION / ENTRY
3.1 Patient uses disposable mask and hand sanitizer provided or washes hands upon entry with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, followed by thorough drying – must be done on arrival into and departure from the clinic.
3.2 RMT will wash hands often and when required, using soap and water for a minimum of 30 seconds each time.
3.3 Hand sanitizing/-washing protocols are posted visibly in entrance area and at sinks.
3.4 A wireless point of sale system with swipe feature will be used for payment, Debit is not available at this time e-transfer is accepted.If payment is by cash it must be exact amount received in a plastic ziplock bag given to therapist upon arrival. Receipt is emailed or post mailed to the patient.
IN THE TREATMENT ROOM
3.5 The RMT will open/close the door before, during, and after the treatment as required for her to enter and exit, as needed, using a tissue barrier, and washing hands as appropriate.
3.6 Hand sanitizer and tissues will be made available in the treatment room for RMT and patient use.
3.7 At any time, the patient may ask the therapist to sanitize her hands, any object or surface.
3.8 Therapist and patient must wash hands before and after the treatment.
4.0 Face Touching Avoidance – e.g., avoid touching eyes, mouth, nose
4.1 The reason for ‘no face touching’ is that coronavirus can be spread by touch if a person has used their hand/s to cover a cough or sneeze.
4.2 Tissues will be available in entry, treatment room and washroom. Please use these tissues if you have an itch that needs to be addressed. RMT will do the same.
4.3 During treatment, the therapist will wear a cloth mask and face shield, specific attire, apron and gloves that will be changed between treatments. Hands will be sanitized before and after touching a mask.
4.4 Patients will wear a mask provided. You must sanitize your hands before and after touching a mask. (The patient is able if they wish to remove the mask while in face down position, a pillow case will be added to the face piece to create a droplet collector) and the mask will be replaced before the patient assumes face up position on the table.
4.5 Inter-oral TMJ treatments will not be practiced at this time.
5.0 Enhanced Cleaning
5.1 There is a HEPA air purifier in the treatment room to aid in germ guarding. Visibly soiling surfaces will be cleaned, followed by disinfecting and sanitizing.
5.2 All high-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected in between patients, regardless of appearance. This includes tablet, chairs, patient clothing and personal item bin, stool, massage table, surface below face cradle, treatment tools, handles, door handles, faucets, electronic device keyboards and mice, phones, point of sale device, desk and shelf surfaces.
5.3 Cleaning and disinfecting will be done with approved hard-surface disinfectants listed and approved here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19.html
Oxygenic is the main product used to disinfect the clinic https://resources.projectclean.com/func/readProduct.php?link=Maxim%20Oxygenic%20%282020%29.pdf
5.4 All clutter, decorations and items that cannot be washed, wiped, or sanitized will be removed from entry/reception, washroom, and treatment spaces.
5.5 All pillows, linens and items that are not being used for the treatment, will not be in the treatment room, or will be in cleanable storage bins.
5.6 Linens (including blankets) are single use only and are then laundered in hot soapy water.
5.7 At any time, the patient may ask the therapist to sanitize her hands, any object or surface.
5.8 Thermophores, usually used as heater for on top, will not be used at this time. The bottom table warmer will still be used, as requested, as it will be below a sanitized vinyl table cover.
5.9 A Cleaning and Disinfectants for Clinic Settings poster from the BC Centre for Disease Control will be posted in reception area, washroom, and, treatment room.
5.10 Patient may keep their personal belongings in plastic container with lid provided during their treatment.
6.0 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
6.1 During treatment, the therapist will wear a cloth mask and face shield that will be changed between treatments.
6.2 Gloves will be worn by the therapist to barrier and protect patient and therapist.
6.3 Patients will be provided with a single use mask upon arrival to be worn throughout the entire visit.
6.4 When donning and doffing a mask these protocols will be used: wash hands with soap and water or sanitize using an alcohol-based hand rub, prior to putting on a mask, prior to taking off a mask, and after disposing of a mask in the garbage.
6.5 Patients may request the RMT enhance either the patients’ PPE or the therapists’ PPE, at any time. Stock on hand will be: gloves, face masks, safety shield, apron and fresh clothing for therapist. Proper donning and doffing will be used for all requested items.
7.0 PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATIONS
7.1 Tara Tait, RMT carries professional liability insurance.
(a) Tara Tait, RMT is following the health and safety guidelines outlined by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia and the Provincial Health Officer, Insurer and the Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC. She is taking all reasonable precautions to clean and disinfect the clinic and all the surfaces within the treatment room.
(b) No guarantees have been made by the therapist, that the patient may not come in contact with COVID-19 virus at or during an appointment.
7.2 There is NO duty or obligation for Tara Tait, RMT to return to practice:
(a) A return to practice protocol does not require RMTs to engage in practice if they individually assess the risk of practice as one they are not prepared to take.
(b) The decision to return to practice is a matter of individual judgment and requires following the guidance of CMTBC and governmental authorities.
7.3 In the Event That a Patient Tests Positive for Covid-19 Having Been to a Massage Therapy Appointment within the 14-days Prior to Onset of Symptoms
(a) The patient will contact the therapist and inform her of positive test results and possible transmission of the virus immediately.
(b) The therapist will immediately self-isolate.
(c) The therapist will call public health at 8-1-1 to report the possible transmission and act on direction of Provincial Health.
7.4 In the event that a patient alleges they caught COVID-19 from the RMT:
(a) The RMT must immediately call public health at 8-1-1 and report the alleged transmission, providing both the RMT’s name and the name and contact information of the patient. The patient must agree to the release of this information to receive treatment.
(b) The RMT must not provide any further massage therapy treatment to anyone until public health has investigated and has provided direction.
(c) The RMT must immediately self-isolate until the matter has been investigated and public health direction has been provided.
7.5 In the event that Tara Tait, RMT catches COVID-19 or displays symptoms of COVID-19 and/or exhibits signs of respiratory illness, including cough, runny nose or fever:
(a) The RMT must immediately call public health at 8-1-1 and get tested for COVID-19.
(b) The RMT will not provide any further massage therapy treatment to anyone until public health has provided direction.
(c) The RMT must immediately self-isolate until public health direction has been provided.
(d) If the testing is positive, patients will be informed and the RMT will not return to practice until cleared by a public health official AND the fever is gone without medication AND she is feeling better AND not before 10 days beyond the onset of symptoms
7.6 In the event that Tara Tait comes into close contact with someone who becomes ill.
(a) If her spouse, or any other close contact becomes ill, she will cancel appointments and only return to practice once negative testing results come back or being cleared from a public health official.
7.7 What about asymptomatic spreaders?
(a) This is an unavoidable risk of practice/treatment until there is either an effective treatment or an effective vaccine against COVID-19.
7.8 RMTs have a professional obligation to obtain informed consent to treatment, consistent with CMTBC’s Consent Standard of Practice.
(a) In the current environment of COVID-19 risk, informed consent requires that the patient be informed that:
1. any massage therapy treatment involves some risk of COVID-19 transmission;
2. the RMT is following a protocol to reduce or mitigate risk, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero;
3. the patient consents to treatment despite some risk; and
4. the RMT documents the patient’s consent.