Changes to the Interim Guidelines for Return to Practice (COVID-19)
Corresponding to the lessening risk of COVID-19 transmission in our communities, CMTBC is transitioning the Interim Guidelines for Return to Practice (COVID-19) to a set of fundamental safety practices that address general communicable disease prevention and the overall health and safety of RMTs and their patients.
RMTs are expected to take reasonable steps to manage health and safety for everyone in their practice environment; this includes taking steps to prevent the transmission of all communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
Communicable disease prevention involves assessing the level of risk in your practice environment, applying fundamental safety practices (below), communicating your protocols to everyone who enters your practice environment, and updating measures and safeguards as required.
Foundational elements of communicable disease prevention include:
- Patients must not enter the clinic if they are sick or show signs of communicable disease.
- RMTs must not provide in-person care if they are sick and/or show signs of communicable disease.
- Proper hand hygiene must be followed.
- A clean work environment must be maintained.
- Adequate ventilation must be maintained in the practice environment.
RMTs are reminded that CMTBC’s Practice Environment Standard of Practice is in effect. The Practice Environment Standard promotes patient and practitioner safety through all aspects of treatment delivery.
RMTs must remain up to date on guidance from WorkSafeBC and the Provincial Health Officer regarding information about communicable disease prevention. WorkSafeBC may inspect your clinic for measures you have put in place to prevent the transmission of communicable disease, including COVID-19.
Pillars of responsible care that support the goal of communicable disease prevention are outlined in this section.
- Communicating with patients and others that anyone who enters the practice environment must not show signs of communicable disease.
- Prior to arrival at the clinic and/or at the time of booking, patients should be informed of the following:
- Patients must arrive at their appointment with no signs of communicable disease.
- Patients must be advised of options regarding the availability and use of masks.
- Patients must be advised of additional requirements they will be asked to meet upon arrival at their appointment (e.g., hand washing upon arrival, arriving on-time for appointment).
- Hand Hygiene
- Patient cleans their hands upon entry to the practice environment.
- RMT washes their hands often, as appropriate.
- Hand-washing protocols are posted in reception area, in the treatment room, and at sinks (including bathroom for patient’s use if applicable).
- All therapists and staff will practice consistent cleaning protocols.
- Linens must be single use only.
- Frequently clean and disinfect:
- handles: doors, cabinets, faucets, fridge, microwave, etc.,
- electronic devices and phones,
- arm rests of chairs,
- desks and table surfaces,
- water coolers,
- Ensure the treatment room is thoroughly cleaned between patients:
- Clean equipment and supplies (table, table levers, lotion bottles, hydrotherapy supplies, etc.) after each patient.
- Air purifier / filter in the treatment room may be helpful if the room has no windows or external air exchange. Use of an air purifier/filter is at the RMT’s preference and discretion. View WorkSafeBC resources about ventilation and air circulation.
- CMTBC, Practice Environment Standard of Practice
- WorkSafeBC, Communicable disease prevention
- Provincial and Regional Restrictions, Government of BC COVID-19 response
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Health Professionals
- BC Centre for Disease Control. COVID-19 Care
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Community-Based Health Care
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Hand washing
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Hand Hygiene Poster
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Masks
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Travel Restrictions
- BC Centre for Disease Control, Environmental Cleaning and Disinfectant for Health-Care and Clinical Settings
- PICNet: Provincial Infection Control Network of British Columbia, Guidelines and Tools
- Government of Canada, Hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers
Previous Guidelines and Communications
RMTs who have questions about the Communicable Disease Prevention Requirements can contact [email protected].