You may have heard the announcement from our government that Massage Therapy is able to resume in Ontario. While we are excited to announce that this is true, it is far from business as usual yet.
Ontario is in Phase 1 of re-opening and that means that for Registered Massage Therapy there are new guidelines as to who gets an appointment. The directive is clear:
“Prioritize clients with essential care needs while gradually resuming practice. Massage Therapy treatment is considered essential when the client’s overall health or function would considerably decline if treatment were not provided (i.e. lead to hospitalization or other serious health consequences).”
This means that, for the time being, massage therapy is limited to emergency care only. A condition is considered an emergency if it is severely debilitating and the risk of having that condition worsen is greater than the risk to the patient and therapist of potentially acquiring COVID-19. At this time, wellness care and relaxation massage are not permitted.
The college that governs massage therapy in Ontario has mandated that all therapy should GRADUALLY resume. This means therapists must work shorter hours and provide shortened treatments in order to decrease the likelihood of transmission and risk of infection.
At this point in time, we are contacting those patients in dire need whose appointments were cancelled before the COVID shut down to rebook their missed appointments. Because of Robert’s decreased hours and the long list of patients who desperately need care, it may take a while to book everyone successfully.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding.
What Will These New Appointments Look Like?
*All patients must be booked in advance. There will be no walk-in appointments.
*All patients must be pre-screened on the phone before the appointment. There are a series of questions to answer to make sure you do not exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If you answer the questions correctly, we are good to go. If your answers raise any concerns, we will provide you with “next step” instructions to follow before your appointment.
*Only ½ hour-long appointments will be booked.
* There will be 15 minutes between each appointment to allow for enhanced cleaning and disinfecting as per Ministry of Health regulations using Health Canada-approved products.
*The clinic door will be locked at all times during massage office hours. It is recommended that you use the street parking at the front of the office so that you can be waved in for your appointment. We can also call your cell to let you know we are ready for you. Please be ready and waiting. The schedule will be tight and there is no wiggle room to extend your visit if you are late. The office must be disinfected between each and every visit. The continued good health of our patients is of paramount importance which is why cleaning time is booked into the schedule.
*No food or drink are permitted in the clinic. You will be asked to dispose of your tea, coffee, water, muffin, etc. in the garbage can on the street in front of the clinic. This includes (expensive) re-usable water bottles and canteens. Please leave such things in your car. If you are thirsty, we have glasses and water in the office.
*No guests will be permitted in the office. Only the patient will be let in. Friends, children, and/or spouses must wait for you outside the office. The only exception is the parent of a child patient. You know we are normally friendlier than this but we cannot have extra bodies in the clinic at this time.
*Patients must wear a mask for the duration of their appointments – there are no exceptions to this rule. If you do not have a mask, you may purchase a single-use, disposable one from us for $2.00. No mask, no treatment, no exceptions. Patients are permitted to use cloth masks, Robert must wear a medical-grade, disposable mask.
*Upon entering the office, patients must immediately use hand sanitizer at the front desk or wash their hands with soap and water in one of our sinks. No gloves are permitted in the office.
*All patients must sign a form stating that they have no signs, symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19. This form will be kept in your patient file to initial at each visit.
*You will be asked to pay before your treatment to limit your time at the front desk. All payment types (debit and credit) are now supported by tap to minimize touch within the office.
* Receipts will be e-mailed, no paper copies.
* The treatment room door may be kept open to increase ventilation.
As per the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario guidelines, Robert will wear a fresh disposable mask with each patient and will wash his hands and arms before and after each patient as he has always done. Fresh linen will be placed on the table at the beginning of the treatment and removed carefully to reduce risk of releasing anything from them into the air. The massage table, chair, his stool and any other surface that was touched will be cleaned and disinfected using the new protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario.
While this may all sound very somber and intimidating, in reality, these measures are a small inconvenience for a little while so that we can help nudge the province back to normal again and safeguard the continued good health of our practice. We thank you all for your understanding and support and cannot wait to see you all again soon!
Robert Del Medico