COVID-19 Update: Directive 2 and New Isolation Requirements
January 6, 2022
New Directive 2 Issued
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued a new Directive 2 for hospitals and regulated health professionals. Registered Massage Therapists will generally not be impacted by Directive 2, as it limits surgeries and procedures that carry a risk of using further hospital/emergency medical services.
Reminder: COVID-19 Precautions
With the spread of the Omicron variant, CMTO has received questions about whether additional precautions or guidance is available. RMTs are reminded that at this time and for most practice settings, CMTO’s COVID-19 Practice Guidance remains in effect. This means RMTs must:
- conduct risk assessments and active screening before every treatment, and only provide treatment when the anticipated benefits outweigh the risks to the client and RMT.
- wear at a minimum a surgical/procedure mask (cloth masks are not permitted).
RMTs working in some settings (e.g. hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes) are required to take additional precautions. Given increased transmissibility, RMTs in other settings may want to consider additional precautions if they choose, including stronger personal protective equipment and improving air ventilation. If clients arrive in a cloth mask and if RMTs are able, RMTs may provide clients with a surgical/procedure mask.
New Self-Isolation Requirements and Returning to Work
The Ontario Ministry of Health also released updated COVID-19 Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance in response to the Omicron surge. RMTs are encouraged to review this document to understand their isolation requirements based on symptoms, exposure, vaccination status, practice setting and/or client population. The document contains three flow charts that can help RMTs understand what to do if they are symptomatic or have been exposed to a positive case.
RMTs are eligible for their third dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. CMTO strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for RMTs as an extension of RMTs’ ethical obligation to serve clients’ best interests and protect them from harm.
RMTs who are willing and able to support the province’s vaccination efforts are encouraged to volunteer by visiting the Ontario Matching Portal.
CMTO thanks all RMTs for their dedication and commitment to helping Ontarians stay healthy and safe. If you have any questions, please contact our Practice Specialist at email@example.com or by phone at 416-489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124.