Covid 19 Pandemic Operations Protocol

These protocols are in place to help mitigate some of the risks in providing treatment during the COVID-19 Pandemic and to support the health and safety of practitioners, clients, and co-workers.

This pandemic safety has been prepared based on the information from Health Canada and Nova Scotia Public Health. 

Although we have done our best to provide accurate, up-to-date information and recommendations, ultimately, we remain responsible for ensuring that their practices and treatment processes are done safely, and by any current or future Public Health Orders and mandatory health and safety practices.

A general protocol has been established before the recent lockdown. We have implemented additional safety measures to ensure our clients are protected.
 

  1. We are and continue to adhere to the Public Health Orders inside the workplace and in our daily lives.

  2. We update daily changes via the Public Health updates

  3. We follow and use all requirements found in the re-opening guide for regulated and non-regulated health professionals https://novascotia.ca/dhw/cdpc/documents/Re-opening-Guidance-HCP.pdf

  4. We ensure there is a physical distance between practitioner/client at all times when not providing client care.

  5. We do not work if feeling unwell and will contact 811 to discuss symptoms. Client appointments will be rescheduled with no financial penalty to the client.

  6. A registry list is kept for all clients and can be provided if necessary. This is not an open book. The information is gathered and stored electronically.

  7. Contactless payment is provided and recommended.

  8. Electronic receipts have replaced handwritten receipts.

  9. Wash hands and disinfect after handling money or payment equipment.

 

Public Health Requirements

  1. Virtual care via telehealth or video consultation for clients that can do so and are not seeing in-clinic therapy.

  2. In-person clinic visit complete health and covid questionnaire electronically. They are again asked the Covid 19 questions before their appointment time.

  3. Anyone who arrives for an in-person appointment that is experiencing any Covid symptoms; will be asked to exit and rebook their appointment after a consult with 811 and following their recommendations. A negative test result may be required.

  4. To facilitate public health tracing all health services will be electronically registered within our database and will include client name/therapist name/therapist and client contact information. This information is stored to protect client privacy and follows all PIPEDA requirements.

Health Professionals and Staff

  1. If any health professional or staff are experiencing symptoms they must contact 811 and follow their guidelines. A negative Covid 19 test will be required before they coming back to work.

  2. In the event, a positive test is received we will notify Public Health immediately and all clients that have been in contact with that therapist or the clinic in the past 14 days.

  3. Therapists are not permitted to travel outside of their specific zones until the public health orders have been lifted.

Personal Public Health Measures

  1. Promote the use of individual measures (e.g. frequent hand hygiene, avoid touching the face, respiratory etiquette, disinfect frequently touched surfaces).

  2. Post signage to remind staff/ patients to practice good hygiene that is appropriate for the staff/ patient age, ability, literacy level, and language preferences.

  3. Provide increased access to handwashing facilities (e.g. by placing hand sanitizer dispensers at the office entrance, treatment room entrances, and at the reception desk) and ensure accessibility for staff/ patients with disabilities or other accommodation needs.

  4. Promote, at a minimum, twice daily increased environmental cleaning of staff work environments (e.g. provide sanitizing wipes so staff can clean their own workspace).

  5. Ensure all external service providers and suppliers adhere to provincial COVID-19 health and safety requirements when entering your office. Implement strategies to maintain physical distancing and hygiene practices. Physical distancing is 2 meters or 6 feet.

  6. Masks do not substitute for physical distancing but are considered a mitigation strategy when performing a procedure.   

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  1. All surfaces are cleaned and disinfected between clients. This includes doorknobs, a sink, and all therapy room furniture.

  2. Disposable hand towels are provided for clients.

  3. Minimum 30 to 60 minutes are scheduled between each client for room sanitation.

  4. All lines including blanked are removed and bagged between clients. They are stored outside of the treatment room. Fresh linens and blankets are used with each client.

  5. Garbage is removed between clients into the main bagging area.

Client Screening

  1. Client intake forms are done online. They must be completed 3-5 days before the scheduled appointment.

  2. Cancelations Fees are waived at this time if the client must cancel due to Covid symptoms or diagnosis.

  3. A treatment plan will be determined, and all modifications explained to the client.

  4. A client will be required to wait in the car until the therapist comes to get them. They will be provided with a sanitary disposable mask, be required to wash hands, and apply sanitizer.

  5. Clients are not permitted to wait in the seating area at this time. They will immediately be brought into the treatment room and will be required to exit. If they must use the washroom that will be sanitized before the next client.

  6. The client will be provided in writing the protocol and policy/procedures before their appointment.
    The client will be accessed for the following symptoms:

    1. Pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities?

    2. Fever (i.e. chills, sweats)

    3. Cough or worsening of a previous cough

    4. Sore throat

    5. Headache

    6. Shortness of breath

    7. Muscle aches

    8. Sneezing

    9. Nasal congestion/runny nose

    10. Hoarse voice

    11. Diarrhea

    12. Unusual fatigue

    13. Loss of sense of smell or taste

    14. Red, purple or bluish lesions, on the feet, toes, or fingers without a clear cause

Use of Masks & Sanitizers

  1. Disposable masks will be used with clients. They will be disposed of immediately after the session.

  2. Clients will be provided disposable masks upon entering.

  3. Sanitizer and medical-grade sanitizer wipes/spay are provided and used.

  4. Medical/surgical grade masks are used and provided.

  5. Masks are mandatory for both the client and the therapist.

  6. Goggle or face shields are permitted over a mask but must be sanitized between appointments.

Therapy Room Supplies

  1. Foot-pedal garbage cans must be in every treatment room.

  2. Solid (no-holes) laundry hampers, with a solid lid for every treatment room, that can be cleaned between appointments:

  3. Laundry that must be taken home to wash, tie the bag, and place it in your trunk. 

  4. Apply the same caution to avoid cross-contamination, dispose of the garbage bag immediately after placing your linen in the washer. Wash your hands.

  5. Tissues must be available throughout the entire space and in each treatment room.

  6. Hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol or higher must be available inside the entry to the business, each treatment room, and staff area at all times.

  7. Sufficient paper towels must be available for drying hands at all sinks.

  8. Airflow between clients and installation of HEPA Air Purifier.

Treatment Room Set Up and Clean Up

  1. All unnecessary items have been removed for faster and more thorough cleaning of surfaces.

  2. Table warmers and fleece pads are currently not being used.

  3. Vinyl pillows and rolls/bolsters are used in place of pillows.

  4. A new blanket per treatment

  5. Clean linens are kept in a closed cabinet.

  6. An empty laundry hamper must be in the treatment room so the used linens can be deposited immediately post-treatment. Linens must be rolled up carefully, never shaken, to avoid dispersing particles into the air.

  7. Plastic oil dispensers are not used at this time. Each session oil recipe will be curated, and dishes cleaned between sessions. A large cube receptacle is available for client clothing. It will be fully sanitized between appointments.

Use of Specialized Tools

  1. Hot stones, wax melting burners, towel warmer, foot soak tub will be used and cleaned thoroughly between each use.

  2. Towels, linens, and blankets are laundered in hot water between clients.

  3. Tools are not left on the counter between appointments.

  4. Warm towels are clean and placed in the sanitized towel warmer before the appointment and done between each client.

  5. Hot stones and other equipment are sanitized and soaked in hot soapy water for 30 minutes.

Massage of Scalp, Face, Head, and Feet

  1. Facial massage is removed from services at this time.

  2. Scalp massage will require the client to be face down and masked.

  3. Foot massage is done only after a foot soak.

  4. Foot massage will require the use of therapist gloves during the massage.

Changes to this safety protocol will be adjusted as required.