COVID-19 and Seasonal Respiratory Illnesses

Updated August 4, 2023

Current situation and guidance

  • In July 2023 Ontario’s Ministry of Health released a new Seasonal Respiratory Pathogens Readiness and Response Planning Guide.
  • In the 2023-2024 fall and winter seasons, the risk from influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory pathogens is again expected to be increased compared to pre-pandemic years.
  • While the overall risk to of COVID-19 has been diminished through factors such as increased immunity and high vaccination rates, it remains a threat to the health and wellbeing of Ontarians and will contribute to the seasonal surge.
  • RMTs cannot provide treatment to clients who should be self-isolating. If an RMT or their client have any symptoms of illness, they can complete the Ministry of Health’s online Self-Assessment Tool to determine if self-isolation is required.

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 experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 and/or Seasonal Respiratory Pathogens at the time of the appointment;
  • If the client is supposed to be self-isolating at the time of an appointment;
  • If risks can be controlled through infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures and/or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (e.g., masking); and,
  • Whether deferring in-person treatment might result in negative consequences for the client.

Guidance for RMTs

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