COVID-19

Les MTA qui administrent des soins devraient se référer au document Pandémie de COVID-19 – directives de l’Ordre sur la pratique de la massothérapie. Ce guide a été préparé à partir de l’information et des ressources fournies par le ministère de la Santé et Santé publique de l’Ontario, en collaboration avec d’autres organismes de réglementation des soins de santé.

Updated April 16, 2021

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and we will be updating this page as information becomes available. We acknowledge this has been an unprecedented and challenging time for healthcare professionals and the healthcare system. The safety of the public, including Massage Therapists (RMTs/MTs), remains our top priority.

Guidance to RMTs on COVID-19

As of May 26, 2020, Directive #2 (Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2 for Regulated Health Professionals) allowed for a gradual restart of services to be carried out with adherence to guidance from the health professional’s regulatory college. In the gradual restart of services, RMTs must:

CMTO is not expecting RMTs to practise if they do not feel it is appropriate or safe to do so. This information is for RMTs who have assessed the risk associated with COVID-19 and choose to practise. CMTO cannot comment on these individual decisions, including how they may impact eligibility for government financial benefits.

How do I determine whether I should be providing in-person treatment?

RMTs must consider the principle of minimizing harm, highlighted by both the Chief Medical Officer of Health and in CMTO’s Code of Ethics. RMTs should be providing in-person treatment when the anticipated benefits of treatment outweigh the risks to the client and the RMT. In determining whether it is best to provide Massage Therapy treatment to a client, an RMT must always weigh the potential risks (harm) of providing treatment (e.g. contracting COVID-19 and/or spreading it within their community) against the potential benefit of the treatment. Learn more about assessing risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What happens if an RMT is found to be practicing contrary to government directives or CMTO guidance?

Contravening an order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health exposes one to significant financial penalties; and CMTO is following up on reports about RMTs providing treatment contrary to guidance, such as providing treatment without the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). RMTs who are found to be practicing contrary to guidance may incur penalties, including suspension or revocation of their Certificate of Registration, penalties under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as well as civil liability in court. If you have concerns, please contact the Professional Conduct Department at professionalconduct@cmto.com or call 416-489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4149.

CMTO is receiving questions from RMTs and the public, and will continue to track and promptly respond to them. For more information, please contact CMTO’s Practice Specialist at practicespecialist@cmto.com or by phone at 416-489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124. 

COVID-19 Resources for RMTs

Along with CMTO’s COVID-19 Pandemic – Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists (Pandémie de COVID-19 – directives de l’Ordre sur la pratique de la massothérapie), RMTs should access the following websites for the most current information and guidance:

RMTs are required to follow infection prevention practices at all times, in all practice settings.

Resources for Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC):

Mental Health Resources

Other Resources

For questions about this information, please contact CMTO’s Practice Specialist at practicespecialist@cmto.com or by phone at 416-489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124.

COVID-19 Resources for Clients

If you are a client looking for information about COVID-19 and Massage Therapy, including what to expect at your next appointment, please review our client resource.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 and Massage Therapy, please contact CMTO’s Practice Specialist at practicespecialist@cmto.com or by phone at 416-489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124.

You can access following websites for the current and reliable information about COVID-19:

Mental Health

Vaccination Information

Vaccination Information

As regulated health professionals, it is important that RMTs access reliable, accurate and up-to-date information about the vaccine. CMTO is awaiting more detailed information on Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan and will provide this information to RMTs as it becomes available. We know that healthcare workers have been identified as a higher priority group for vaccination and will be strongly encouraged to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination will help protect you, your clients and community and will be critical to Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario Vaccine Resources

Health Canada Vaccine Resources

Vaccine Education Resources

Public Health Units (PHUs) Vaccination Broadcasts

CMTO has been sharing information via email with RMTs about vaccine pre-registration in certain Public Health Unit (PHU) regions. Please be sure to review the information carefully, including what proof is required to register and/or obtain a vaccine. 

PHUs may expect RMTs to provide documentation to support their eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., proof of registration status and/or proof of employment). More information about these requirements will be provided by individual PHUs during the vaccination registration process.

In order to prove registration status, RMTs can provide a copy of their receipt(s) related to payment of the annual registration fees (for 2021); and/or a printed copy of their profile information from CMTO’s public register. This is a reminder that effective January 1, 2021, CMTO no longer issues Photo ID cards.

As proof of employment, RMTs should choose a document that reflects their name and the contact information for the practice (proving employment location). For example, a business card for the practice, or a copy of a pay statement.  Public Health Units may have differing requirements, so please check with your Public Health Unit to ensure that you provide the required documentation.

Please see below for dates broadcasts were sent to RMTs on behalf of PHUs.

FAQs for RMTs

These FAQs provide answers to the questions that CMTO is receiving most often. We hope this information is helpful, and we will continue to provide updates.

Infection Prevention and Control/Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Client Care
Workplace/COVID-19 Exposure/Finances

Infection Prevention and Control/Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

What type of masks must RMTs wear while providing treatment and how often should they change them? [Updated – January 28, 2021]

At a minimum, RMTs must wear surgical/procedure masks approved for medical use while within two metres of clients, including while providing treatment. There are three classifications of surgical/procedure masks under American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Standards (Level 1, 2 and 3). Approved surgical/procedure masks of all levels and number of layers are acceptable for use by RMTs.

CMTO cannot approve specific masks or brands of masks. For more information about surgical/procedure masks, please refer to Government of Canada’s COVID-19 medical masks and respirators: Information for health professionals.

It is best practice for an RMT to change their mask after every client, and masks must be changed whenever wet, damaged or soiled. If an RMT is reusing the same mask between clients, they must ensure the mask is not wet, damaged or soiled. RMTs must wash their hands before and after touching, adjusting, putting on or removing their mask.

What PPE are RMTs required to wear while providing Massage Therapy treatment?[New – January 28, 2021]

At a minimum, RMTs must wear surgical/procedure masks approved for medical use in all practice situations where physical distancing is not possible. Based on MOH’s recommendations, RMTs should also consider use of eye protection (goggles or a face shield).

RMTs should be conducting a risk assessment as outlined in Public Health Ontario’s Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings (Appendix B) pp. 57-58 prior to client interactions to determine whether additional PPE is required.

RMTs may also choose to wear full droplet and contact precautions to limit risk of COVID-19, which includes:

  • Surgical/procedure mask
  • Isolation gown
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection (goggles or face shield)

If an RMT is choosing to wear additional PPE (in addition to a surgical/procedure mask, which is a minimum requirement) they should assess whether they have the appropriate supplies and knowledge to do so. For information on proper use of PPE please see Public Health Ontario’s  Infection Prevention and Control Fundamentals.

What do I need to know about ventilation in my practice space? Are there any resources available? [New – January 28, 2021]

The Ministry of Health has not issued requirements regarding ventilation practices for health care providers that would directly apply to RMTs. For this reason, CMTO has not created any specific ventilation or air filtration requirements.

RMTs who want to learn more about ventilation or air filtration should view the following resources:

RMTs may choose to take additional precautions regarding ventilation and/or air filtration at their discretion or in response to their own risk assessment of their practice setting.

Are clients required to wear masks during treatment? What if they refuse? [Updated – February 24, 2021]

In accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Health’s requirement to wear masks whenever physical distancing is not possible, RMTs must instruct the client to come to the appointment wearing a clean disposable or reusable mask to be worn throughout the treatment. If the client arrives and is not wearing a mask, the RMT should provide the client with a new surgical/procedure mask to wear for the duration of treatment. 

The RMT may need to make practice modifications to accommodate and facilitate clients’ ability to safely and comfortably wear masks throughout treatment.

If a client cannot wear a mask (e.g. due to a health condition) that covers their nose, mouth and chin for the duration of contact time or refuses to participate in any reasonable infection prevention measures that have been implemented, the RMT is entitled to use their professional judgement to assess the risk of providing treatment.

If the RMT determines the risk of providing treatment outweighs the likely benefit (or the risk cannot be determined), the RMT can refuse to treat the client at that time. If the RMT decides to refuse to provide treatment, the RMT should have a discussion with the client about the risks and why they are not providing treatment. The RMT must clearly document the decision and discussion in the client health record.

 In cases where an RMT determines through a risk assessment that in-person treatment should not be postponed and decides to proceed with providing in-person treatment to a client who will not wear a mask, the RMT must, at a minimum, wear eye protection (face shield or goggles) in addition to the surgical/procedural mask.. The RMT should conduct a risk assessment and determine whether additional PPE is warranted, such as a gown and/or full contact/droplet protection, as outlined in Public Health Ontario’s Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings (Appendix B) on pages 57-58.

For further information on the proper use of PPE in healthcare, please see Public Heath Ontario’s Infection Prevention and Control Fundamentals resource.

If specific PPE is warranted but not available, the RMT must postpone treatment, explain the reasons for cancelling the appointment to the client and document those reasons into the client health record. See Standard of Practice #15 for more information.

I can’t find the required PPE. Does that mean I can’t provide treatment to clients?

When an RMT encounters a situation in which specific PPE is warranted but not available, the RMT must not provide treatment to the client at that time. RMTs must explain the reasons for cancelling the appointment to the client and document those reasons into the client health record. See Standard of Practice #15 for more information.

RMTs are responsible for ordering appropriate PPE supplies specific to their own practice needs. Please see the Government of Ontario’s dedicated website for PPE for more information on obtaining PPE.

Does CMTO know where I can find PPE supplies to purchase?

Please see the Government of Ontario’s dedicated website for PPE for more information on obtaining PPE.

What type of cleaning and disinfecting agents/products should I be using?

RMTs must use products approved by Health Canada by cross-referencing the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the product container with the list on the Health Canada website.

Public Health Ontario provides helpful guidance about cleaning detergents and disinfecting agents in Section 1.3 of the Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning for Prevention and Control of Infections in All Health Care Settings document. 

I need more information on cleaning and disinfecting my practice (e.g. using the “wipe twice” method). 

Public Health Ontario’s Environmental Cleaning Toolkit answers questions about how and why to do the “wipe twice” method (clean to remove visible soiling then disinfect to destroy germs on the clean surface). Section 1.3 of the Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning for Prevention and Control of Infections in All Health Care Settings provides information about whether a different cleanser should be used for the wipe to clean, versus the wipe to disinfect.

For disinfecting, RMTs must use products approved by Health Canada by cross-referencing the Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the product container with the list on the Health Canada website.

RMTs interested in learning more about principles of cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces in health care settings with a focus on the selection and appropriate use of cleaning agents, disinfectants and cleaning tools/equipment may want to review the Cleaning Products and Tools presentation within the Toolkit.  

CMTO’s IPAC requirements are informed by Public Health Ontario’s expertise.

Do I need to clean and disinfect pillows after each use? Can I just change the pillowcase/cover?  

To reduce the risks of contact and droplet transmission associated with COVID-19, RMTs must wash and dry all linens, blankets and pillows used in treatment in the highest heat possible after every client.

If the pillow is made of, or covered entirely by, a plastic or otherwise non-porous material, it must be cleaned and disinfected between clients using products approved by Health Canada.

If both the pillow and pillowcase/cover are made of porous materials (like cotton, polyester, rayon, viscose or linen), both the pillow and pillowcase/cover will need to be cleaned and disinfected after every client.

Items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected after every client should be removed from the treatment room.

What PPE and infection prevention and control training do I need to complete, and do I need to provide CMTO with proof of completion? Can CMTO help me with technical issues?

Before returning to practice, RMTs must, at a minimum, complete the free online Public Health Ontario (PHO) training listed below. RMTs are not required to submit proof of completion to CMTO at this time, but should keep the completion certificates in their own records, in case they are asked to provide this information later.

    • IPAC Core Competencies: Additional Precautions
    • IPAC Core Competencies: Administrative Controls
    • IPAC Core Competencies: Chain of Transmission and Risk Assessment
    • IPAC Core Competencies: Control of the Environment
    • IPAC Core Competencies: Health Care Provider Controls
    • IPAC Core Competencies: Occupational Health and Safety
    • IPAC Core Competencies: Personal Risk Assessment (select all modules appropriate to your practice setting)

Here are a few tips if you are having technical issues: 

  • The online learning platform is compatible with Internet Explorer and Chrome. Modules will not work properly in Firefox or Safari browsers.
  • The PHO modules are to be completed in real time through their online learning platform. You cannot download the modules.
  • The modules are media heavy. Clearing your browser cache before completing each course will help things run smoothly.
  • Refer to PHO’s Online Learning Requirements to get your computer ready for the best learning experience.
  • Refer to PHO’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)and How Do I Guide for additional support

Client Care

Can I treat all clients regardless of health need? [Updated – January 28, 2021]

RMTs should only be providing in-person treatment when the anticipated benefits of treatment outweigh the risks to the client and the RMT. In determining whether it is best to provide Massage Therapy treatment to a client, an RMT must always weigh the potential risks (harm) of providing treatment (e.g. contracting COVID-19 and/or spreading it within their community) against the potential benefit of the treatment. Learn more about assessing risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What screening questions do I need to ask a client before providing treatment? 

Please refer to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance document and COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms for screening questions. The client must be screened twice; once prior to arriving for treatment, and again immediately before treatment.

My client has a chronic or pre-existing health condition, and the symptoms of my client’s condition (e.g. headache, migraine, chronic muscle ache) are listed in the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance. Does this mean I can’t provide Massage Therapy treatment to my client? Won’t my client always screen positive for COVID-19? 

The MOH has developed the COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance document to guide risk assessments for healthcare providers when providing care to clients. As the symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to other ailments, healthcare providers, including RMTs, are encouraged to further assess if any symptoms disclosed during the screening process are related to chronic or pre-existing conditions, or if they are new or worsening and may be attributed to COVID-19.

If a client responds “no” to every item on the patient screening guidance document, with the exception of responding “yes” to a symptom in Q4 (e.g. headache), the RMT needs to clarify with the client whether the symptom is related to a chronic or pre-existing health issue. If the client indicates the symptom is related to a chronic or pre-existing health issue, and the symptom is not new or worsening, the client is considered to screen negative for COVID-19 and the RMT can proceed with treatment.

If the symptom cannot be explained by a chronic or pre-existing health issue, or the symptom is new or worsening, the client is considered to screen positive for risk of COVID-19. The RMT should defer treatment and encourage the client to self-isolate at home and seek medical care such as from their primary care provider or by calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, who may suggest they be tested.

All client screening must be documented in the client health record.

A client has shown up for their appointment and has screened as potentially having COVID-19. Should I provide treatment?

If a client screens as possibly being positive for COVID-19 when they arrive for their appointment or symptoms develop during treatment, the RMT must:

  1. establish and maintain a safe physical distance of two metres;
  2. have the client complete hand hygiene;
  3. if the client is not wearing a mask, provide the client with a new surgical/procedure mask;
  4. segregate the client from others in the clinic;
  5. explain the concern that they are symptomatic, discontinue treatment and reschedule the appointment;
  6. advise the client that they should self-isolate and complete the online self-assessment tool and should then call their primary care provider or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000;
  7. clean and disinfect the practice area and anywhere the client is likely to have touched immediately; and,
  8. ensure a record is kept of all close contacts of the symptomatic patient/client and other visitors and staff in the clinic at the time of the visit. This information will be necessary for contact tracing if the patient/client later tests positive symptomatic for COVID-19.

All client screening and related decisions and actions must be documented in the client health record.

A client has tested as positive for COVID-19. Can I provide in-person treatment to this client?

RMTs cannot provide treatment until the client has been cleared, or their case is considered resolved by a primary care provider, Telehealth Ontario, or Public Health Ontario (via their local public health unit). Clients can provide confirmation verbally or in written form.

When determining whether to proceed with treatment, RMTs must continue to follow the requirements set out in CMTO’s COVID-19 Pandemic – Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists; including:

  • using the MOH’s COVID-19 Patient Screening Guidance Document to screen all clients (For Q3, RMTs should consider that fact that the client has been cleared or their case has been considered resolved i.e. they are no longer considered positive for COVID-19);
  • evaluating the risks of proceeding with in-person treatment and comparing it to the intended benefits;
  • implementing infection prevention and control measures; and,
  • wearing required PPE.

RMTs must document the details of the clearance and screening into the client’s health record.

Are there treatment techniques, skills or modalities that are higher risk and may require additional PPE? [Updated – February 24, 2021]

The RMT may only provide treatment if the benefit to the client outweighs the potential harm that could be done to the client (e.g. contracting COVID-19 and/or spreading it within their community), which can be determined by a risk assessment. The risk assessment must include the risks posed by the use of any modality, technique or tool that the RMT would like to apply in the treatment.

Certain techniques or modalities may present a higher risk of transmission or exposure to COVID-19. The RMT must determine whether it is appropriate to use these techniques/modalities given the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission/exposure. Some potential areas of risk may include:

  • Techniques requiring direct contact with areas close to the client’s mouth, nose, eyes or ears-
  • Techniques that cause prolonged vibration, such as tapotement, as this may loosen phlegm or mucus leading to increased risk of coughing.
  • Techniques that require removing or adjusting the client’s mask, such as intraoral massage. This increases risk of exposure to respiratory droplets and can increase risk of coughing.
  • Hydrotherapy, due to the use of equipment and/or the increased risk of exposure to fluids that may be contaminated.

If the RMT determines a higher risk treatment should be provided, the RMT must wear eye protection (face shield or goggles) in addition to a surgical/procedure mask. Further, the RMT must determine whether additional PPE beyond mask and eye protection is warranted, such as a gown and/or full contact/droplet protection, as outlined in Public Health Ontario’s Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings (Appendix B) on pages 57-58. 

In the case of intraoral treatment, RMTs must wear, at minimum, a surgical/procedural mask, eye protection (face shield or goggles), and gloves.

For further information on the proper use of PPE in healthcare, please see Public Heath Ontario’s Infection Prevention and Control Fundamentals resource.

If specific PPE is warranted but not available, the RMT must postpone treatment, explain the reasons for cancelling the appointment to the client and document those reasons into the client health record. See Standard of Practice #15 for more information.

Do I still need to sign my receipts? Can I provide them electronically?

RMTs are required to sign receipts according to the CMTO Policy for Receipts. RMTs can choose to apply their signature in hand-written or electronic form. Clean and disinfect any equipment used during this process (e.g. pens, tablets).

Do I still need to obtain written consent from a client to treat sensitive areas?

RMTs must obtain written consent from clients to treat sensitive areas. During the pandemic, RMTs should consider additional precautions to safely obtain written consent when appropriate, including preparing any equipment used (e.g. pens and tablet/other electronic devices) before and after treatment by cleaning and disinfecting.

Are there any additional considerations for record keeping? 

In addition to the routine requirements for record keeping, RMTs must record all new procedures related to the client in the client health record, including but not limited to:

  • a general infection prevention and control record/log for the practice,
  • a notation of COVID-19 infection precautions taken for each client in the client health record, including
    • screening dates, outcomes and related decisions;
    • PPE used during treatment;
    • modifications to treatment; and
    • details of infection prevention and control measures used to prepare for, during, and after each treatment
  • a roster of all people entering the space for contact tracing purposes.

Documentation should be kept for 10 years.

Are there additional consent requirements or considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Disclosing risk is always a crucial part of obtaining informed consent. In that sense, there are no new consent requirements. Disclosing risks specific to COVID-19 will be an important part of providing information required to obtain informed consent. To obtain consent, RMTs explain and document the measures taken to lessen risk of transmission of COVID-19, while highlighting that the risk is still present.

As a reminder, informed consent includes the client understanding all of the following:

  1. nature of the treatment;
  2. expected benefits of the treatment;
  3. material risks of the treatment;
  4. material side effects of the treatment;
  5. alternative courses of action; and
  6. likely consequence(s) of not having the treatment.

Can Massage Therapists offer Massage Therapy through a remote platform via telecommunications (“telepractice”) during the pandemic?

Offering Massage Therapy through a remote platform via telecommunications technology has a number of complexities that will need to be considered and should only be used in very few and unique situations.

RMTs will need to consider whether the proposed telepractice treatment is within the scope of practice of Massage Therapy in Ontario:

“The practice of Massage Therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain.”

Some examples of these rare situations in which telepractice may be within the scope of practice may include:

  • When an RMT must provide guidance for client self-care; or
  • When an RMT would like to complete an intake process for a new client who will be receiving treatment when the RMT returns to practice (e.g. the RMT might receive health history information electronically and conduct an intake interview virtually). 

If telepractice treatment is within the scope of practice, the RMT must be transparent in all documentation, including billing invoices, that the services were provided remotely and whether only a partial assessment/treatment was performed (i.e. it does not constitute a full session of Massage Therapy and cannot be billed as such). RMTs must advise their clients that telepractice may not be covered by their insurance provider as Massage Therapy.

Prior to using any platform, the RMT must ensure the platform is confidential and secure and meets the requirements of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2014; and the RMT must obtain the consent required under the Health Care Consent Act, 1996 and CMTO’s written consent requirements for treating (or viewing) sensitive areas (if applicable). In addition, all applicable legislative and CMTO requirements would still need to be adhered to, such as maintaining client health records.

Workplace/COVID-19 Exposure/Finances

I may have been exposed to COVID-19, what should I do? Can I still practice Massage Therapy?

An RMT may choose to suspend their practice at any time due to risk or concern regarding COVID-19. Whether an RMT must suspend their practice due to risk of COVID-19 will depend on the risk of their specific circumstance.

  • An RMT who is symptomatic or had known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case must not practice until they have received clearance to do so. In these cases, the RMT should complete the Ministry of Health’s online assessment tool and follow instructions, which may include direction to self-isolate for a specified period, contact their local public health unit, and/or obtain a COVID-19 test.
  • An RMT who has travelled outside of Canada must complete mandatory self-isolation period and self-screen negatively before returning to practice.
  • An RMT who does not meet criteria above, but is still concerned about risk of COVID-19 should use the Ministry of Health’s online assessment tool to help determine the best course of action. In most cases, the RMT will be given clear direction from the self-assessment tool on how long to self-isolate for and when it is appropriate to return to work.

If the RMT is unsure how to interpret the instructions provided by the online assessment tool, they should contact their local public health unit. When discussing potential COVID-19 exposure risk with public health, RMTs should identify themselves as regulated healthcare professionals to be sure the guidance is relevant to healthcare practice. RMTs may be asked about PPE use, and must specify the type of PPE used (which in most cases will have been only a surgical/procedure mask). According to the MOH’s Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario, wearing eye protection as well as a surgical/procedure mask may result in decreased risk of exposure to COVID-19. RMTs should document details of any guidance that is given into their own records.

If, after speaking with their local public health unit, RMTs have still not been provided clear directions for return to practice they should use their professional judgement, including weighing the risk of COVID-19 transmission with the intended benefit of treatment. If directed to return to practice while wearing additional PPE, such as eye protection, gown, and gloves in addition to a surgical/procedure mask, RMTs should assess whether they have the appropriate supplies and knowledge to do so.

Someone who was in my practice environment is confirmed to have COVID-19, what should I do?

Ontario’s local public health units are responsible for COVID-19 contact tracing and case management, which includes both notifying and following up with individuals who have had close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19.

If there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a provider, staff, client or visitor of the practice, the RMT should report it to their local public health unit and follow their directions.

What should I do if an employer/facility operator is pressuring me to provide Massage Therapy in a way that contradicts government or CMTO guidance?

CMTO expects RMTs to comply with government and public health directives to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. RMTs who are found to be practicing contrary to guidance may face serious consequences, including suspension or revocation of their Certificate of Registration, penalties under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as well as civil liability in court.

If an employer or facility operator attempts to encourage an RMT to practice in violation of government orders, or if you have concerns about health and safety that your employer is not addressing, you can file a complaint with the Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

RMTs must follow directions provided by:

RMTs should not return to practice if they cannot meet the requirements set out in these documents.

What about my income? What financial relief is available to me?

CMTO suggests RMTs continue to follow the ongoing updates from the provincial and federal government regarding support for individuals and businesses financially impacted by the pandemic. Information about economic relief is available at: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

The Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario (RMTAO) is also providing updates for RMTs on economic relief.

Workforce Matching Portal

Ontario is seeking those with experience in providing health care to help provincial efforts to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health is looking for: health care providers who may be working part-time and want to and are able to increase their work hours, former health care providers who are retired and are prepared to return to employment, or anyone who is inactive with their regulatory college or registered but not currently employed.

If you are interested, please register with Ontario’s Health Workforce Matching Portal.

For Students, Educators and Exam Candidates

COVID-19 and the Multiple Choice Question and Objectively Structured Clinical Evaluation Examinations

The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted the ability of CMTO to administer the certification examinations required for registration. We understand that the delay in offering the certification examinations has had a significant impact on new graduates. Our top priority in determining when and how to proceed has been the health and safety of examination candidates, exam team members and staff. For the most up to date information on the certification examinations, please visit the Certification Examinations webpage.

CMTO Operations – Remote Office

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of community spread, CMTO has been operating remotely as of March 17, 2020, until further notice.

CMTO expects to operate with few disruptions, none of which will affect our public protection mandate. The identified disruptions are as follows:  

  • There are no walk-in visits at CMTO. Please call us for information. 
  • Courier packages cannot be received at CMTO’s office.
  • Please use electronic mail whenever possible or use mail and registered mail, which will be received at an alternative location.  

Archive of Communications to RMTs

April 16 – COVID-19 Update

April 7 – COVID-19 Update

April 1, 2021 – COVID-19 Update

February 25, 2021 – COVID-19 Update

February 2, 2021 – COVID-19 Update

January 12, 2021 – COVID-19 Update

December 21, 2020 – COVID-19 Update

December 11, 2020 – COVID-19 Update

November 20, 2020 – COVID-19 Update

October 2, 2020 – COVID-19 Update

August 14, 2020 – Updated COVID-19 Practice Guidance and FAQs

July 10, 2020 – New Resource and Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) Resource

June 26, 2020 – Recording Now Available: Infection Prevention and Control for Regulated Health Professionals 

June 18, 2020 – Client Resource and Screening Guidance

June 11, 2020 – Upcoming Webinar – COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control for Regulated Health Professionals

May 29, 2020 – Update: Gradual Restart of Services 

May 19, 2020 – Closure of Non-Essential Business Extended and Practice Guidance for RMTs

May 19, 2020 – Closure of all Non-Essential Businesses – Order extended until May 29, 2020 

May 6, 2020 – Closure of Non-Essential Business Extended until May 19, 2020

May 1, 2020 – Preparing for a Future Return to Practice

April 23, 2020 – Closure of Non-Essential Business Extended until May 6, 2020

April 17, 2020 – COVID-19: Non-Essential Business Closure Extended to April 23

April 8, 2020 – A Message from the President and Registrar

March 25, 2020 – COVID-19 Update: Massage Therapists Cannot Practice – Massage Therapy is Not Emergency Care

March 23, 2020 – COVID-19 Update – Premier’s Announcement, Ministry of Health Healthcare Provider Recruitment and new CMTO COVID-19 webpage

March 20, 2020 – COVID-19 Update – Directive from Chief Medical Officer and FAQs for RMTs

March 17, 2020 – College of Massage Therapists of Ontario Providing Services Remotely

March 16, 2020 – COVID-19 Updated Guidance

February 26, 2020 – Update from Ministry of Health on COVID-19 – Updated March 13, 2020

January 31, 2020 – Update from Ministry of Health on Coronavirus

January 27, 2020 – Coronavirus Update for RMTs