On August 3, 2021, Dr. Brent Roussin announced upcoming changes to the Provincial Health Order. For full details please click here.
On August 5th, Shared Health issued an update for all health care workers from Covid-19 Incident Command. Click here to view the bulletin.
Shared Health has indicated that there is no change to the current requirement for masks to be worn during entry and while in health-care facilities including hospitals and personal care homes. Medical masks continue to be required for both health care workers and those attending the facilities.
The College expects that physiotherapists “stay the course” with measures already in place including the use of PPE. As a reminder PPE consists of a medical grade 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.
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.
The cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces lowers the chance of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace and public spaces. For further information please review the information on the Government of Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/cleaning-disinfecting.html
Physiotherapists must continue with routine, effective hand hygiene, rigorous cleaning and disinfecting practices, and use of PPE as previously outlined, acting on the assumption that every staff member or patient they encounter may be a carrier of the COVID-19 virus and/or other communicable diseases.
As always, physiotherapists employed by hospitals, health authorities, and continuing care facilities will continue to comply with the directions of their employers.
- Asking patients and staff about signs and symptoms remains a required practice.
- 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.
- Stay home when ill; this action is strongly recommended and remains a recognized infection prevention and control best practice. It is therefore recommended that physiotherapists defer in-person services (and/ or offer telerehabilitation appointments) to patients who are demonstrating signs and symptoms of any communicable disease and continue to stay home when they themselves demonstrate symptoms.
Additional measures, such as maintaining physical distance in waiting areas and in gym or treatment spaces, use of physical barriers such as plexiglass between patients and reception staff, and tracking of individuals onsite for contact tracing purposes, remain recommended practices.
Manitoba has not yet experienced the fourth wave. Dr. Roussin has indicated regional restrictions may still be implemented if changes are noted in the coming weeks. Physiotherapists are advised to pay close attention to the COVID-19 health orders.
Mental health resources for health-care workers
On April 15, 2020, the Government of Canada launched a portal to help address the unprecedented rise in feelings of stress, anxiety and depression in Canada due to COVID-19–Wellness Together Canada (WTC). This portal offers access to free and confidential online mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in both official languages. To date, over 1.4 million individuals across all provinces and territories have accessed the portal.
Remember to prioritize your well-being too! You are not alone. Take time to check in with how you are feeling. Wellness Together Canada (WTC) offers free and confidential online mental health and substance use supports available 24/7, including 1 to 1 counselling:
If you need someone to talk to, Wellness Together Canada offers phone counselling 24/7 in over 200 languages and it’s free! For more information on confidential mental health and substance use support, visit: wellnesstogether.ca. You are not alone.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, including the online screening tool, testing criteria and locations, self-isolation requirements, public health fundamentals and the provincial response level on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.
As always, stay safe, and stay well.
Jennifer Billeck, Deputy Registrar
Brenda McKechnie, Registrar/Executive Director