Provincial COVID-19 PPE Requirments for RMTs

The following are the PPE requirements by province as of July 8, 2020. There are Provincial COVID-19 PPE Requirements that are unique for each province. We outline what each province has determined mandatory for mask, gloves, disinfectants, face shield, and gowns use. Please remember gloves do not replace the requirement for proper hand hygiene and must be changed using proper donning and doffing techniques between clients.

Alberta PPE Guidelines

Alberta

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Required to wear either non-medical, procedural, or surgical mask.
Client: Recommended, but not required.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Gloves must be worn when handling soiled or clean linens.  When handling clean linens, a new pair of gloves must be worn.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use Health Canada-approved disinfectants with a virucidal claim and a DIN, only these are appropriate for use in the clinic /massage therapy environment.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Face shield not required. Face shields do not replace masks. Welcome to wear both face mask/shield – recommended when conducting intraoral treatments/treating patients who have respiratory conditions.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Gowns not required. However, clothes worn in the clinic must not be worn in public afterwards. Additionally, if the practitioner does not go directly from home to the clinic, donning new, clean clothes is required.

BC PPE Guidelines

British Columbia

Mask Guidelines:

The Registered Massage Therapists Association of British Columbia:
RMTs: Required to wear a mask that is cloth, surgical, or a disposable respirator.
Client: Recommended to wear a disposable mask, not required.

Mask level required:

The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia:
RMTs: Not required to wear a mask. Can decide whether they/their client wears a mask.
Client: Mask wearing is at the discretion of the parties involved.

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Not Required. Gloves are recommended during cleaning, intra-oral work (as per normal practice),  and in the case of cuts or open injuries on the patient or the therapist (as per normal practice). Use professional judgment to decide whether to use gloves.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must be ensured that a hard surface cleaner or vinyl cleaner/disinfectant has a DIN and is approved on the Health Canada website. The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia  mentions alternatives including bleach solutions and a list of disinfectant agents and their concentrations known to be effective against COVID-19.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Recommended, but not required, to wear safety goggles/glasses. Use professional judgement to decide on using face shield/goggles.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Recommended to use bibs, clothing covers, or scrubs that can be changed between treatments. Use professional judgement via additional commercially available PPE.

Manitoba PPE Requirements

Manitoba

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Strongly recommend wearing a surgical, procedure, or non-medical mask (However, guidelines and provincial requirements do not specify.)
Client: Not specified, but recommended. *MTAM recommends that RMTs encourage patients to wear a mask.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Gloves are not required for every patient; however, meticulous attention to hand hygiene is required.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use disinfectants that have a DIN, given by Health Canada to approved hard-surface disinfectants. They must also have hand sanitizer available at the entrance/exit for patient and staff use. For high-touch hard surfaces such as door handles and phones: it is recommended these be cleaned often with either regular household cleaners or diluted bleach according to the label directions.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Strongly recommended to wear eye protection (safety glasses, goggles, face shield) for all patient interactions.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Recommended to wear an apron or gown when making home-visits, or working in long-term care facilities. However, in general this is not required.

New Brunswick PPE Guidelines

New Brunswick

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Required to wear a surgical, fabric, disposable mask
Client: Recommended to wear a surgical, fabric, or disposable mask.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Gloves are required when performing intraoral techniques or if the RMT has lesions or open wounds.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use a low level disinfectant, or a commercial cleaner containing a disinfectant. It is referenced that a low level disinfectant should be defined by The Infection Control for Regulated Professionals (3% hydrogen peroxide solution, or 1:1000 hypochlorite bleach solution).

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Required to wear a face shield for all intraoral techniques that could induce coughing. The RMT is also recommended to wear safety goggles, or a face shield when in close contact with the patient’s breath.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Required to wear a hospital style gown or lab coat. This may be home swen, but must fasten in some area to prevent cross contamination, and allow for proper hand washing.

Newfoundland & Labrador PPE Guidelines

Newfoundland and Labrador

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Required to wear 3ply / 2ply medical mask.
Client: Must wear a non-medical mask, well fitted homemade mask, or one provided by RMT.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Strongly Recommended. Handwashing to the elbow is mandatory if treating with skin on skin contact.
Client: Clients may refuse skin on skin contact and therapist should include this in their informed consent.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use a proper cleaner and disinfectant, such as a diluted bleach solution or a disinfectant approved by Health Canada.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Strongly recommended to wear a face shield/goggles during this time of reopening.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Recommended to wear a gown, clinic coat, or body covering. Although a gown is not necessarily required, it is recommended to wear some form of gown, long button up shirt, or apron.”

Nova Scotia PPE Guidelines

Nova Scotia

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Required to wear a surgical, procedural mask at minimum.
Client: Highly recommended for the client to wear a mask.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Gloves use is optional. Gloves must always be available. The practitioner may use gloves if they prefer.
Client: Have the right to request that the therapist wear gloves for the duration of their treatment.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must only use Health Canada approved disinfectants with a virucidal – disinfectants with a DIN. Alternatively, as per NS Dept of Health and Wellness cleaning guidelines, you can make a 1000ppm bleach water solution by mixing 20 ml of bleach with 1000 ml of water.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Goggles and/or face shields should be worn when working with clients and must be disinfected between each client.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Clean clothes must be worn to the clinic. If the RMT doesn’t go straight from home to the clinic, the donning of new clothes is required. Washable clothing covering is recommended for any area that may inadvertently come in contact with the client during treatment. This may be a smock, lab coat, apron, or long shirt. New covering must be worn for each client.

Ontario PPE Guidelines

Ontario

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Must wear surgical, procedural mask that is approved for medical use – not a cloth mask
Client: Must wear disposable/resuable mask.”

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Not required for most treatments. If gloves are used they should be single-use non-sterile nitrile, or latex examination or medical gloves. If using, use single use nitrile gloves with oil or water-based products; use latex gloves with water-based products.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use disinfectants that are approved by Health Canada by cross-referencing a DIN.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Suggested, but not required, that an RMT has additional PPE equipment on hand in cases of elevated risk where it may be warranted. Use professional judgement to determine if additional PPE measures are warranted.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Use professional judgement regarding clothing. It is recommended that clothing should be washed and dried regularly on a high heat setting. RMTs should have additional PPE equipment on hand in cases of elevated risk where it may be warranted.

PEI PPE Guidelines

Prince Edward Island

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Non-medical masks are strongly recommended, but no longer required.
Client: Non-medical masks are strongly recommended, but no longer required.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Required when performing intraoral techniques, or if RMT has lesions or open wounds.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use a low level disinfectant or commercial low level disinfectant as defined by Infection Control for Regulated Health Professionals; 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, or 1:1000 hypochlorite bleach solution.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Face shield is required for all intraoral techniques that could include coughing. Shield must be washed and sanitized in between clients.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: A gown or lab coat is not necessary.

Quebec PPE Guidelines

Quebec

Mask Guidelines:

The Association of Massage Therapists of Quebec:
RMT: Must wear procedural mask at all times.
Client: Reccommend to wear a face covering.

The Quebec Federation of Massage Therapists:
RMTs: Mask must meet a standard ASTM-F2100 with a bacterial filtration efficiency of 95%.
Client: Must wear a procedural mask.

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Not required unless with immunosuppressed client, client with skin lesions, or skin lesions on the RMT.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

The Association of Massage Therapists of Quebec:
RMTs: Must use an approved virucidal and bactericidal disinfectant.

The Quebec Federation of Massage Therapists:
RMTs: Must use disinfectant approved by Health Canada must be used.

Face Shield Guidelines:

The Quebec Federation of Massage Therapists:
RMTs: Required to wear eye protection (protective goggles or visor/face shield). These must be disinfected between each client.

The Association of Massage Therapists of Quebec:
RMTs: Required to wear eye protection, protective glasses, or a visor covering the face down to the chin. This is especially favoured during maneuvers close to the face.

Gown Guidelines:

The Quebec Federation of Massage Therapists:
RMTs: Required to wear protective clothing, (disposable/washable frock, short/long sleeve frock, uniform, t-shirt/apron).

The Association of Massage Therapists of Quebec:
RMTs: Recommended to wear shoe covers, washable slippers, and to avoid wearing loose fitting clothing.

Saskatchewan PPE Guidelines

Saskatchewan

Mask Guidelines:

RMTs: Must wear a surgical, procedural mask.
Client: Not required. (Should the RMT ask a client to wear a mask the RMT should provide one.)

Mask level required:

Glove Guidelines:

RMTs: Single use gloves may be used but are not required for most massage therapy services.

Disinfectant Guidelines:

RMTs: Must use disinfectants with a DIN which are approved for use by Health Canada. However, it is referenced that according to Health Canada, a disinfecting solution can be made by mixing one part of bleach into nine parts of water and this may also be acceptable to use against COVID-19.

Face Shield Guidelines:

RMTs: Mandatory to wear eye protection – goggles, safety glasses, or face shields.

Gown Guidelines:

RMTs: Mandatory to wear an apron of either cloth or plastic material. Additionally, it is recommended that different clothes are worn to the clinic than those worn during treatment.

*We make no claim or recommendation about the medicinal benefits of the products listed in this article. We advise you seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. e.o & e