COVID-19 Updated Guidance
March 16, 2020
During this time of extreme challenge to Ontarians and our healthcare system, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) acknowledges how stressful the COVID-19 pandemic has been for healthcare professionals, and we thank you for the important work you do to contribute to the health of Ontarians.
With recent developments on the pandemic and in accordance with our mandate to protect the public, CMTO is currently reviewing practice questions that we are receiving from Ontario’s Massage Therapists (“RMTs” and “MTs”), and assessing how best to protect the public. CMTO will continue to monitor the current environment, but has the following recommendations for RMTs at this time.
- Suspend All Non-Essential Massage Therapy Treatment
Public safety is our number one concern. CMTO is strongly recommending that all non-essential Massage Therapy treatment (using your professional judgement for what you deem as essential to the client) be suspended immediately, until further notice.
As this service suspension may impact your staff, you might want to consult an employment lawyer as you suspend service.
CMTO believes this is an important step in protecting the health of Ontarians, and aligns with social distancing recommendations made by the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada.
It is extremely important that any RMTs who are treating clients implement the following practices to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
- Undertake active and passive screening of clients – screen clients over the phone before scheduling appointments and post signage developed by Ontario’s Ministry of Health in your reception area asking clients with symptoms to identify themselves.
- Practice rigorous infection prevention practices (resources below).
- Self-isolate for 14 days if you have recently traveled outside of Canada.
- Stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms.
The situation is evolving rapidly and CMTO will reach out to RMTs if the advice from government changes.
- Access and Implement Best Practices Guidance from the Government and Ontario
We encourage RMTs to access the following websites for the most current information and guidance:
- Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website for health workers and healthcare employers (includes guidance for specific health sectors and screening signage for patients and visitors)
- Ministry of Health’s 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage (learn about how the Ministry of Health is preparing, how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick after you travel and how to recognize possible symptoms – updated twice a day at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST)
- Public Health Ontario’s coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage
- Public Health Agency of Canada’s coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage
RMTs are required to follow infection prevention practices at all times, in all practice settings.
Resources for infection prevention and control:
- PIDAC’s Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings (for information about Personal Protective Equipment)
- PIDAC’s Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning for Prevention and Control of Infections in All Health Care Settings (for information about washing and drying of laundry)
- PIDAC’s Best Practices for Hand Hygiene in All Health Care Settings
- Public Health Ontario – Fact Sheet – Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings
- CMTO Standards
For questions about this information, please contact CMTO’s Practice Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (416) 489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124.
- CMTO Operations
CMTO will be operating a remote office as of March 17, 2020, but will continue to provide services to the public and to registrants. A notice with additional details will be sent separately.
Please find all CMTO contact information here: https://www.cmto.com/contact-us/
Thank you once again for your continued commitment to helping CMTO ensure public safety.