Whoever thought, when we started sending these Bulletins, we would get to number 16! But here we are.
Next week, starting on June 1, 2020, Manitobans will be welcoming Phase Two of “Restoring Safe Services”. Please click this link to see the full Roadmap document. Phase Two builds on Phase One but there are changes for regulated health professions. On page 22 you will note that:
“Occupancy limits of 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres can be lifted for regulated health professions. Non-regulated health professions must continue to limit occupancy to 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres. Service providers must continue to implement measures to ensure that members of the public are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from each other, except for brief exchanges.”
While physiotherapy clinics can increase their occupancy as of June 1, social distancing of two metres remains in effect. As well, good handwashing technique and the use of sanitizers is still required. Registrants must continue to use PPE. If you have massage therapists or athletic therapists in your clinic, they are not regulated and therefore must follow the rule of 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres.
CPM continues to receive calls about masks. Cloth masks worn by physiotherapists are not permitted. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements includes masks that are of a surgical or procedural quality. While your clients may wear cloth masks, registrants should not be wearing cloth masks when treating clients.
Registrants should also continue to wear eye protection which includes face shields, goggles or safety glasses.
The use of gowns and gloves are used in specific circumstances. Please see previous Bulletins for further information on this.
CPM has received several calls about hand sanitizers. Health Canada recommends that hand sanitizers are alcohol based. From the Health Canada website:
Hygiene and hand sanitizers
Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
- use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available
- always supervise young children when using hand sanitizers, as ingesting even small amounts of sanitizer can be fatal
- when coughing or sneezing:
- cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
- dispose of the tissues as soon as possible in a lined waste basket
- wash your hands right away
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
We have published a list of hand sanitizers that are authorized for sale in Canada. This list is updated daily.
Store hand sanitizers out of reach of children (refer to ISMP Canada Safety Bulletins for a related safety alert on May 1, 2020). Never attempt to make hand sanitizer at home using alcohol intended for consumption, witch hazel or essential oils. Doing so could be unsafe and will produce an ineffective product.
CPM has also received calls about what type of disinfectants to use. The following link, from Shared Health lists facility approved disinfectants.
From Health Canada comes this advice:
Health Canada is working with disinfectant manufacturers and industry associations to inform Canadians of the products that can be used to help against the spread of COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses. This means they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant when used according to the label directions.
We have published a list of hard-surface disinfectants that are likely to be effective for use against (COVID-19). This list is updated regularly.
Although they do not claim to kill viruses such as COVID-19, cleaners can help limit the transfer of microorganisms. For high-touch hard surfaces such as door handles and phones, we recommend cleaning these often with either regular household cleaners or diluted bleach according to the label directions. Use bleach in a well-ventilated area and never mix with other chemical products. To prepare diluted bleach for a solution to disinfect high-touch hard surfaces, do so according to instructions on the label or in a ratio* of:
- 250 mL (1 cup) of water per 5 mL (1 teaspoon) bleach,
- 1 litre of water (4 cups) per 20 mL (4 teaspoons) bleach
* assuming bleach is 5 % sodium hypochlorite, to give a 0.1 % sodium hypochlorite solution
Disinfectants, household cleaners, and bleach are meant to be used to clean surfaces. Never use these products on the skin or internally (e.g. by swallowing or injecting these products) as this could cause serious harm.
A surface sanitizer is a substance, or mixture of substances, that reduces the population of microorganisms on environmental inanimate surfaces and objects. Unlike disinfectants, surface sanitizers do not destroy or eliminate all microorganisms.
In Canada, surface sanitizers are considered pest control products. Surface sanitizers must be registered before they can be manufactured, imported, distributed, sold or used in Canada to ensure they meet Canadian health and environmental standards.
As surface sanitizers are not as effective as hard-surface disinfectants, Health Canada is prioritizing the availability of disinfectants at this time.
As usual, if you have questions, please contact the office by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (204-287 8502).
Another weekend is upon us. Relax and enjoy some time off.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.