The Covid 19 Pandemic is fully into its second wave in Manitoba. All of the data on numbers of cases, the number of health care workers affected, deaths, have been on the rise this fall. The public and our members are all experiencing fatigue from the situation that seems to progress unabated, from having to wear PPE, from being advised not to socialize and all the other things that do not seem “normal” to our way of living and practicing.
Today, November 10th, 2020 Premier Pallister and Dr. Roussin held a joint news conference announcing that the entire Province of Manitoba will move to the Critical (Red) level on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System. For further information please see the news bulletin posted here.
Upon questioning at today’s conference, about the therapeutic professions, such as physiotherapy, Dr. Roussin stated that the regulated health profession’s response to the upgrade to critical (red) for the province and new restrictions would be decided by the Regulators of each profession.
The Council of the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba held a meeting today (November 10, 2020) to seriously discuss the role of physiotherapy at this critical stage of the pandemic and made the following decisions until further notice:
- Screening – Ensure you are screening your clients at time of appointment booking and screening upon arrival to your clinic. Resources can be found on the Shared Health website by clicking here.
- PPE for Physiotherapists – PPE is mandatory and consists of a level 1 medical grade (or higher) mask and includes eye protection. Eye protection is defined by Shared Health as “face shields, eye goggles or safety glasses”. Regular eye glasses are not considered to be protective eyewear.
- PPE for Patients – all Patients are required to wear a mask in Manitoba under the Critical (Red) level on the Pandemic Response System.
- Physical distancing plus PPE is mandatory – Ensure you can maintain 6 feet/2 meters between all individuals within your clinic. Including entry and exit from your clinic. Physical distancing does not negate the need for PPE for the physiotherapist.
Issues arising from reports of physiotherapists not using PPE appropriately or maintaining physical distance will be forwarded to the Public Health Inspector’s office. Please be aware that the Public Health Inspectors office has the ability to fine our registrants for non-compliance.
The privilege of being self-regulated has allowed the profession to continue to provide health care to Manitobans through this pandemic because registrants are expected to follow the Code of Ethics, abide by Public Health Orders, follow the Directives of the College and to support our colleagues in public healthcare by doing our part at home and at work.
As of late, CPM has been hearing about PPE fatigue and “creative” social distancing amongst some members who are not following the Public Health Orders. We understand that this pandemic situation has been going on for too long now. But now is not the time to let things slide. Together, we can help to flatten the curve, but only if we are all consistently implementing the measures the College and Public Health has requested of you.
CPM Council acknowledges the excellent work undertaken by the physiotherapy front line workers who risk their own personal safety and health as well as their families on a daily basis. Council acknowledges the effort of all members to meet the PPE requirements, despite the fatigue. We thank those members who are being deployed to work in Covid 19 related areas of practice. We thank those members who are returning from retirement to assist in the pandemic battle.
Together we can do our part to get through this.
Stay safe and healthy