Updated Guidance on Assessing Risks During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, risk assessments continue to be an essential part of providing safe and effective Massage Therapy care.
When conducting a risk assessment, RMTs should consider if:
- The client is supposed to be self-isolating at the time of an appointment;
- The client is experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 at the time of the appointment;
- The client is at a higher-risk of negative outcomes from COVID-19;
- Risks can be controlled through infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures and personal protective equipment (PPE); and/or
- Deferring in-person treatment might result in negative consequences for the client.
RMTs must also consider the level of transmission of COVID-19 in their community. This can include the number of cases and hospitalization data from Ontario’s Ministry of Health, and other reliable information from the Ontario COVID-19 Data Tool.
Jin is an RMT who practises in a busy, multi-disciplinary clinic located in a small community. Recently, while greeting a new client named Sam, Jin notices that Sam appears to have symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19.
Jin is concerned about the symptoms because provincial data recently showed increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in the community. Although active screening for COVID-19 is no longer mandated, Jin decides that it’s still important to ask questions about the symptoms as part of collecting health history information to assess the risk of providing treatment.
Based on Sam’s health history and the details shared through discussion, Jin determines that Sam’s symptoms are consistent with symptoms of COVID-19, and that Sam did not complete the self-isolation requirement. After asking Sam about the reasons for seeking Massage Therapy treatment, Jin determines that postponing treatment will likely not result in negative consequences for Sam.
Jin decides that the safest option is to postpone treatment until Sam completes the mandatory self-isolation requirement and is cleared of any symptoms. Jin explains to Sam that proceeding with treatment poses greater risks than postponing treatment, and gives Sam the opportunity to ask questions. After responding to Sam’s questions and providing suggestions for next steps, Jin documents the details of the decision and their discussion into Sam’s health record.