As of the July 11 reopening , the Management Group has reviewed all necessary information from
- Public Health
- clinic legal advisors
and has been in discussion with stakeholders such as insurers and the Coalition of Rehabilitation Centres. The following considerations weigh heavily on the minds of the Management Group as we make decisions to maintain a safe environment for the community of staff and patients that interact in our facility on a daily basis.
In Short: There are no changes in any protocols that were in place before July 11 for staff or patients.
- As regulated health care providers, we are in a position of trust and knowledge. The Management Group understands the responsibility to provide a safe environment for patients and staff. The Management Group, our staff and our patients should hold us to a high standard and expect us to deliver on this obligation.
- Employers have a legislated responsibility under provincial Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) law to provide a safe environment for patrons and staff.
- SHA has announced that they will not be making any changes to their current masking or screening policies/procedures.
- Fully vaccinated people are at far less risk of serious consequences from a covid infection, BUT can still be infected and be asymptomatic. The presence or absence of symptoms is no longer the best indicator of an infection. This is the same for assessing fever. We need to assume the same risk is present and reduce this risk with the same protocols of PPE, social distancing and infection control. Therefore no protocols change as of Monday.
- There is a higher percentage of unwell and immune compromised people within the clinic as many of the conditions we treat are part of a more body wide health condition. Therefore asymptomatic carriers of the virus, both amongst patients and staff, present a risk to this vulnerable group and the clinic administration must have protective policies.
- Our therapists provide care for longer than 15 minutes inside of the 2 meter social distance safe zone and treat a number of patients each day. They are vulnerable to infection and therefore may be a source of infection to others.
- Use of masks prevents clinicians from exposure to COVID19 from asymptomatic carriers of the virus, including those who have been fully vaccinated. This in turn, prevents onward spread by the physiotherapist to other patients, colleagues in the practice setting, and personal contacts.
- Our intention is not to decline care. A patient has a right to receive care. Care will not be denied on the basis of having health conditions that may preclude the use of a mask. The Saskatchewan Government previously determined that the following people did not have to wear masks during the mandatory mask order and we have decided to use these same criteria:
- Children under two years of age
- People who are unconscious or due to a cognitive impairment or a severe heath condition are unable to mentally understand the requirement to wear a mask
- People whose medical condition prevents them from safely being able to wear a mask. This must be determined by a health professional and evidenced by a written letter. This written letter should not include specific details why the patient is unable to safely wear a mask but only that they are unable to safely wear a mask for medical reasons.
- Where it is necessary for the individual to uncover their nose, mouth or chin for the purpose of receiving a health or personal service, for the duration of that specific treatment or service only.
- We will consider other options to provide care to patients who decline or are unable to wear masks, including the use of telerehabilitation and limiting access to the practice setting for unmasked patients to designated times, if this becomes necessary. Determination of the need for designated times will be a matter of assisting this need and will not be available at the desired time of the patient but based on flow in the clinic. This time will be at the end portion of the day when volume is lower.
- PPE requirements in our office will be at minimum gowns and masks. Eye protection and gloves must be worn when dealing with bodily fluids.