COVID-19: Information for Physiotherapists

Below are links to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOH), Public Health Ontario and other reliable sources of information related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

These websites will be updating information as it become available. Be sure to check daily for updates.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has dedicated web pages where you can learn how the Ministry is preparing for COVID-19 in Ontario. Every weekday at 10:30 a.m. ET, the Ministry's dedicated web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario. The page also provides information about how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick after you travel and how to recognize possible symptoms.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (MOH)
COVID-19 Sector Specific Guidance (MOH)
Coronavirus Emergency Planning and Preparedness (MOH) 
Guidance for Health Care Worker and Health Sector Employers (MOH)

FAQs from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Q: As a health care worker, what should I do to keep myself safe at work?

A: All health care workers should continue their usual activities, processes and protocols and follow recommendations as provided by their manager/ supervisor. This will ensure a consistent approach to recommendations for management of patients presenting with symptoms compatible with 2019-nCoV (case definition of Person Under Investigation (PUI) below).

It is expected that PUIs will be promptly triaged through the Emergency Department and immediately put into droplet/contact/airborne precautions for assessment by the appropriate clinicians, in consultation with Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention and Control.

For health care workers working in community or other settings who suspect a patient meets the definition of a PUI, arrangements should be made with a receiving Emergency Department for transfer where appropriate.

Health care workers providing care to PUIs in a hospital setting (or in their environment) should use Routine Practices and Additional Precautions (Contact, Droplet and Airborne). These precautions include:

  • hand hygiene;
  • use of airborne infection isolation rooms when possible;
  • masking the patient with a surgical mask when outside of an airborne infection isolation room;
  • use of gloves, gowns, fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirators and eye protection by health care workers when entering the same room as the patient or when transporting or caring for the patient.

The use of Airborne Precautions is a higher level of precaution than is being recommended by PHAC or the WHO, or that is normally recommended for coronavirus. The ministry is recommending that health care workers apply Airborne Precautions based on a precautionary basis to this novel virus for which little information about transmission and clinical severity is available.

Q: As a health care worker what should I do if I see a patient who I think might have this virus?

A: Health care workers should refer to the case definition for PUI.  

If health workers are outside of a hospital setting, they should refer any possible PUIs to hospital for assessment and testing. Health workers in community settings should call the hospital to notify them that a possible PUI will be coming for assessment.

If health workers are in a hospital setting, all possible PUIs should be referred to the emergency room for assessment and possible testing.

The case definition for a Person Under Investigation for 2019-nCov is:

A person with fever and acute respiratory illness, or pneumonia, 

AND any of the following:
•         Travel to Wuhan, China in the 14 days before onset of illness

•         Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of 2019-nCoV 

•         Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to Wuhan, China within 14 days prior to their illness onset