Below is a summary of recent Ontario Government COVID-19 announcements and initiatives that could be of interest to Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs/MTs).
COVID-19 Precautions Continue to be Required
RMTs are reminded that all requirements for practice during the pandemic remain in place, including both RMT and client use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures. RMTs must continue to follow the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Operational Requirements for Health Sector Restart and CMTO’s COVID-19 Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists, conduct risk assessments before every treatment, and practice in line with CMTO’s Code of Ethics.
Vaccine Certificates in Ontario
On September 22, Ontario started requiring proof of vaccination in select settings. The Ontario Ministry of Health has also released Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act. CMTO will continue to monitor the rollout of vaccine certificates, including seeking clarification of expectations for RMTs who provide service in these settings.
Ministry of Health updates Patient Screening Guidance
On August 26, the Ministry of Health released an updated version of the COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance Document (Version 5) that all regulated healthcare professionals, including RMTs, are expected to use during active screening before every treatment. Learn more about the updated Screening Guidance.
In addition to updating the list of symptoms, this version requires RMTs to first ask a Background Question regarding vaccination. RMTs can assure clients that their vaccination status alone will not determine the screening outcome (or whether the RMT can proceed), but rather informs which Screening Questions apply.
Chief Medical Office of Health Requires Some Healthcare Settings to Have Vaccination Policies
On August 17, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued Directive #6, which mandates employers in some high-risk healthcare settings to have a vaccination policy. RMTs can find more information, including specifics on what is required in the policies and who it may apply to, in the Resource Guide to Directive #6. RMTs and employers can also consult with their local public health unit for additional guidance about employment related vaccination policies. RMTs who work with/for organizations where Directive #6 applies, are encouraged to speak with administrators of the organization directly about these changes.
For the latest information on COVID-19 requirements in place in Ontario, view the Government’s public health measures and advice.