COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Physiotherapists & Others

The College is keeping a watchful eye on the evolving COVID-19 situation. The safety of patients, physiotherapists and others remains our top priority as we rely on information from trusted sources.

We encourage you to follow direction coming from the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario.

Update: May 26, 2020

On May 26, 2020, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health released changes to Directive #2, which originally required all regulated health professionals to stop or reduce non-essential services.

Effective May 26, 2020, physiotherapists and other regulated health professionals can, when all necessary precautions and protocols are in place to protect patients and themselves, gradually and carefully begin providing all services, including non-essential services.

Read the Ministry's COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart


What this Change Means for Physiotherapists

This change does not mean that you should immediately return to providing in-person care.

Physiotherapists and their employers must assess the risks of providing care in-person and implement appropriate infection control and prevention measures. 

You are only permitted to provide in-person care when you are satisfied that the benefits of providing care in-person outweigh the risks and appropriate infection control and prevention measures are in place.

You should monitor the spread of COVID-19 in your community to inform your decisions of when to return to practice. Refer to data from the Ontario GovernmentPublic Health Ontario and your local public health unit.

You are required to limit the number of in-person visits for your safety and the safety of patients. PTs are in the best position to determine if care can be provided virtually and or if care can safely resume in-person with appropriate precautions and protocols in place to protect you and your patients.

The amended government directive lists principles to consider when making these decisions.

Guidance for Physiotherapists Returning to In-person Practice

To help PTs plan for a gradual and safe return to practice, the College has developed return to practice guidance. This guidance should be followed in conjunction with guidance from the Ministry of Health.

On This Page

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Resources 

Contact Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

Contact your primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a health care professional. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

Healthcare Provider Hotline: 1-866-212-2272

Health sector organizations can call the Healthcare Provider Hotline for policy guidance related to COVID-19, urgent situations and information on Ministry programs: 1-866-212-2272 (toll free). Please be aware, the Hotline is unable to provide clinical advice regarding the management of cases.

Resources for PTs

The Ministry of Health has a dedicated website for the health workers and health employers. The site provides sector-specific guidance for the health sectors and health professionals such as those listed below. As these documents are regularly updated, please access the following documents through the Ministry website to make sure you are viewing the most current version.

Access Current Versions


Guidance Documents

Orders and Guidance for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes


View PPE Resources and Information

View Free Online Training and Resources for Physiotherapists

See Expectations on Providing Tele-Rehabilitation
   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs: COVID-19

  • What screening questions should I ask prior to an in person appointment?

  • What infection control measures and products should I use for cleaning my clinic?

  • Can I be asked to do activities that are not typically in the scope of physiotherapy practice?

  • I'm considering tele-practice as an alternative to in-person visits during the COVID-19 or other infectious outbreak, what are some considerations?

  • I need to switch gears and move from working in an sports outpatient clinic to an ICU? What should I do?

  • Can I refuse to provide care if I feel I’m not competent to deliver care in a certain area?

  • Do I need to meet the requirements of the Record Keeping Standard if I am deployed to different practice setting?

  • Can physiotherapists be redeployed from their current position to a different position during the pandemic?

  • Can I use virtual care to deliver group treatment to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • As a health care provider, should I be tested for COVID-19?

FAQs: Patient Screening for COVID-19 and the Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Do I need to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

  • What if I am supposed to use PPE but it is not available?

  • Can I reuse personal protective equipment (PPE)?

  • Who can I contact if we are short PPE?

  • Will I get into trouble with the College if I decide not to provide care without the appropriate PPE?

  • I understand that I need to wear PPE if my patient has COVID-19, but what does it mean if they are suspected of having COVID-19?

  • Are there specific rules for primary care providers in a community setting?

  • Are there specific rules for hospitals? (March 30, 2020)

  • Are there specific rules for long-term care facilities?

  • Who can go into a long-term care home (June 18, 2020) ​

  • Are there additional resources?

Questions? 
Call the Practice Advisor at 1-800-583-5885 ext. 241 or email advice@collegept.org.