OsteopathyBC Announcement: COVID-19 Guidance to Step 3 of BC's Restart Plan

Dear OsteopathyBC,

July 2, 2021

OsteopathyBC Announcement:

The Move to Step 3 in BC's Restart Plan


Premier John Horgan, Minister Adrian Dix, Minister Ravi Kahlon and Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province is transitioning gradually to Step 3 of BC’s Restart Plan on July 1, 2021. This means that BC will be changing its focus from Covid-19 safety plans to communicable disease prevention.

Osteopathic Practitioners are still expected to take reasonable steps to manage health and safety for everyone in their practice environment.

Whilst a written or posted communicable disease prevention plan is not required, WorkSafeBC may inspect your clinic for measures you have put in place to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases.

The Communicable Disease Prevention Guide from WorkSafeBC can be referred to here:
https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/books-guides/communicable-disease-prevention-guide-employers?lang=en

 

How to Transition from Covid-19 Safety Plans to Communicable Disease Prevention


1. Prior to the appointment: Communicate with patients and all who enter the practice environment the following points concerning symptoms, physical distancing, hand hygiene, sanitization protocols and personal protective equipment (PPE) usage.
  • Symptoms of a communicable disease can include fever or chills, recent onset of cough, diarrhea or any flu-like symptoms: advise patients to reschedule their appointment and phone 8-1-1 if they feel any of these symptoms.
  • Continued use of a modified COVID-19 pre-screening is advisable.
2. Physical Distancing
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres/6 feet should be maintained in clinic areas other than the treatment room between patients/staff members.
  • Physical distancing considerations include:
    • Reducing congestion in high traffic areas (e.g., waiting room),
    • Encouraging patients to arrive on-time for their appointment or encouraging patients to wait in their vehicles for the appointments, then texting/calling patients when it is time to come inside, 
    • Encouraging patients to arrive unaccompanied unless the patient requires a parent/guardian.
    • The use of arrows on floors. 
 3. Hand Hygiene – wash and/or sanitize
  • Patients/staff clean their hands upon entry to the practice environment.
  • Osteopathic Practitioner/reception staff wash their hands and/or sanitize between appointments, or as appropriate
  • Hand-washing protocols are posted in reception area, in the treatment room, and at sinks (including bathroom for patient’s use if applicable).
4. Face Touching Avoidance – e.g., avoid touching eyes, mouth, nose
  • Share information about the reason for ‘no face touching’.
  • Provide tissues if an itch must be addressed; tissues must be available in reception, treatment room, washroom.
  • Wash hands/hand sanitize immediately after face-touching.
5. Cleaning Protocols
  • All therapists and staff will practice consistent cleaning protocols.
  • Clean visibly soiled surfaces, followed by disinfection.
    • This includes waiting rooms, washrooms and other rooms.
  • Ensure the treatment room is thoroughly cleaned between patients:
  • Ensure good ventilation where possible.
  • An air purifier / filter in the treatment room may be helpful if the room has no windows or external air exchange. The use of an air purifier/filter is at the Osteopathic practitioner’s preference and discretion. View WorkSafeBC resources about ventilation and air circulation.
6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and mask use

July 2021: Masks are recommended by public health authorities in public indoor settings for all people aged 12+ who are not fully vaccinated.
  • As it is not always possible to tell who is or is not fully vaccinated, and the percentage of people in BC with 2 doses is still quite low, OsteopathyBC recommends that masks continue to be worn by practitioners and patients in both waiting room and treatment room until further notice.
An osteopathic practitioner may decide whether to use additional PPE for themselves and/or for their patient/s.

7. Professional Obligations
  • If an osteopathic practitioner exhibits signs of a communicable disease or if they are waiting for a COVID-19 test result, they must not provide in-person care and should not be in attendance at clinics or other practice settings where other staff and patients are present. The practitioner should self-isolate until they receive a negative covid-19 test result.
  • Osteopathic practitioners who practice at multiple locations, including mobile services, must be conscientious about others’ safety protocols while also maintaining their own protocol, as protocols may vary from clinic to clinic.
  • Current liability insurance is necessary to continue working as an osteopathic practitioner. Continue to follow the guidelines or requirements of your insurance provider as long as the insurer’s guidelines do not conflict with or contradict the Provincial Health Officer orders, WCB or OsteopathyBC guidelines.
  • Osteopathic practitioners should consult legal counsel if needed, as OsteopathyBC does not provide legal advice.
  • Osteopathic practitioners are reminded to follow OBC/SPMPO Standards of Practice and exercise their professional judgement in situations that present themselves in their practice.
 

Thank you!


"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
- Edward Everett Hale -

In health, 

The OsteopathyBC Board
 
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