News Updates

Mar 27, 2020

Emergency Care: Additional Guidelines and Answers

We know that many of you have questions and concerns as we all work together to make the best of this challenging and ever-changing situation. 

Please see the following guidance to further clarify the advice of March 24, 2020:

Guidance on Working with Physiotherapist Assistants in the Context of Providing Essential Care

The government has issued direction to limit private practice physiotherapy services to emergency care only, and has designated long-term care facilities, retirement homes and organizations that deliver home care as essential services. To be clear, even in these long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and organizations that deliver home care, physiotherapists may only provide emergency services.

If physiotherapist assistants are providing care, it should be strictly limited to assisting with the provision of emergency care in private practices, and care in long-term care facilities, retirement homes and organizations that deliver home care. This means that the role of physiotherapist assistants in providing care should be drastically decreased. Decreasing the number of people who come into close contact with one another helps to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

Remember that physiotherapist assistants should never perform any activity that requires any component of assessment. Refer to the Working with Physiotherapist Assistants Standard.

Advice Related to Physiotherapists Working at Multiple Work Sites

Based on the recent government directive, health workers who work in multiple locations should identify themselves to their managers and develop an individualized plan to manage their employment across these settings over the course of the pandemic. In some high-risk settings, it may be possible to coordinate arrangements for staff to only work in one institution.

Advice as to When the Use Personal Protective Equipment is Required

We understand that physiotherapists who continue to provide emergency care or provide care in workplaces that the government has deemed essential have questions about when they should and should not be using personal protective equipment (PPE).  

Your best source for guidance is to contact your local Public Health Unit and the Ministry of Health. You can also refer to Public Health’s advice of March 12, 2020.  

Moving Forward

We understand that physiotherapists are having to make decisions incredibly quickly. The College supports registrants in making the best decisions that they can based on the information they have available in these circumstances, in accordance with government direction and College rules. We recognize that these challenges and concerns about how PTs are responding will be considered in this context. 

COVID-19 Information and Resources