Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba is closely monitoring developments in the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. COTM is actively engaged with provincial health officials on this issue, and working closely with other Manitoba health regulatory colleges - as well as the Association of Canadian OT Regulatory Organizations - to keep occupational therapists informed of any regulatory matters that may arise.

A Guidance Document for OTs in Manitoba Regarding Telepractice  (April 3/20)
Also, please read Executive Director April 2020 message.

https://cotm.ca/upload/Telepractice_Guidance_Document.pdf


NEW!     RE: Telepractice - An option shared through the WRHA 

The Weetamah Computer Lab at 324 Logan Avenue (5 computer stations) is open starting today (May 6) and will be open from May 6 until June 25, 2020 during the following days of the week and times:   Tuesday - Thursday 9 AM - 3 PM, closed 12 - 12:30 for lunch.
Washrooms are also available for use. Water and granola bars are available at the front door but will not be allowed in the computer lab. At this time there are no phones available in the computer lab. Operational guidelines, and computer use guidelines have been developed and COVID19 screening will be done.

Keeping Informed About COVID-19

For the Public

For Health Professionals

It is important that you continue to monitor information about COVID-19 as a citizen and as a health professional.

COTM has been forwarding emails from Shared Health to members but will no longer send these as of March 26th. 
You are urged to regularly (at least daily) visit the webpages below so that you can review timely and critical updates:

Restoring Safe Services Together: Manitoba's Phased Approach (updated May 27, 2020)

https://manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/2020_2021/restoring-safe-services-phase-2.pdf

THERAPEUTIC OR HEALTH CARE BUSINESSES - Effective June 1

Change: Occupancy limits lifted for regulated health professions. Occupancy limits of 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres can be lifted for regulated health professions. Non-regulated health professions must continue to limit occupancy to 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres. Service providers must continue to implement measures to ensure that members of the public are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from others, except for brief exchanges.


https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restoring/approach.html
Note the manner in which occupational therapy services offered through independent practice are affected as the province begins to lessen some restrictions. (April 30, 2020)

Current State of Emergency and Public Health Orders (updated May 15, 2020)

http://www.manitoba.ca/covid19/soe.html
Province Introduces New, Temporary Orders Under Provincial State of Emergency

Guidance about Home Visits (updated May 7, 2020)

https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-provincial-ppe-framework-guidance.pdf  (May 7, 2020)
Personal Protective Equipment Supply Management and Stewardship Planning and Guidance Framework


https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/ppe-provincial-requirements-faqs.pdf  (NEW DOCUMENT - May 7, 2020)
Frequently asked questions – PPE

https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/ppe-provincial-requirements-in-home-care.pdf  (April 24, 2020)
Key information when visiting clients in their homes.

https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-testing-criteria-and-in-home-care.pdf (March 31, 2020)
Review the Shared Health memo for guidance and direction.

The “New Normal” - A Message from Lanette Siragusa and Dr. Perry Gray (May 1, 2020)

https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-memo-the-new-normal.pdf

Orders Restricting Staff Movement at Personal Care Homes (April 29, 2020)

http://www.manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/2020_2021/orders_soe_pch_04292020.pdf
Regarding the orders about working in only one Personal Care Home.  Attend to the exceptions regarding occupational therapists.

COVID-19 - Updated Screening for Staff (April 1, 2020)

https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-staff-screening.pdf

COVID-19 - Contact Tracing for Health Care Workers (April 1, 2020)

https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-contact-tracing-for-health-care-workers.pdf.

Orders on Business Closures (March 30, 2020)

https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47337&posted=2020-03-30
Review the media release and orders to determine if your business must close.

Directive Regarding Non-Essential Services (March 22, 2020)

https://cotm.ca/upload/COVID-19_-_Directive_Regarding_Non-Essential_Services_March_22_2020.pdf
In an effort to reduce community transmission of COVID-19, on Sunday, March 22, 2020, Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, and Lanette Siragusa, Chief Provincial Nursing Officer, issued the directive that all non-essential and elective health services should immediately cease or be reduced to minimal levels.

The Manitoba health regulators are working to clarify the details regarding business closures.

College Operations

As of Tuesday, March 17, the office was closed to visitors. All staff began working from home as of Friday, March 20, 2020.

We remain open for business by phone, email and mail. Please keep the following in mind when contacting COTM:

  • Our staff will be available by phone at 204-957-1214 however it is preferable that you connect with us via email.
  • Our staff directory including direct phone numbers and email .
  • If you have physical documents you need to submit to COTM, please send them by mail. 
  • All COTM committees will meet virtually – please get in touch with your staff contact for more information.

Questions? Contact Sharon Eadie, COTM Executive Director at Sharon.eadie@cotm.ca

Contingency Planning Updates

  • Renewal will continue as usual. Please contact registration@cotm.ca if you have questions about this decision.  However, you are urged to use COTM resources and guides to assist with your renewal rather than contact staff during this time.
  • COTM is monitoring and preparing for the potential need to re-register retired occupational therapists / former members to assist, and to grant Temporary registration to out-of-province OTs as per The Occupational Therapists Act.

COTM Practice Guidance

  • The Manitoba Alliance of Health Regulatory Colleges (MAHRC) has developed a resource that can assist OTs with telepractice. Click on the document below:
  • NEW! RE: Telepractice - An option shared through the WRHA 

    The Weetamah Computer Lab at 324 Logan Avenue (5 computer stations) is open starting today (May 6) and will be open from May 6 until June 25, 2020 during the following days of the week and times:   Tuesday - Thursday 9 AM - 3 PM, closed 12 - 12:30 for lunch.

    Washrooms are also available for use. Water and granola bars are available at the front door but will not be allowed in the computer lab. At this time there are no phones available in the computer lab.

    Operational guidelines, and computer use guidelines have been developed and COVID19 screening will be done.

  • COTM has worked with a number of other health regulators in Manitoba to develop this telepractice guidance document which we anticipate will answer some of your questions. Keep in mind that it is in place of a document tailored to occupational therapy practice and therefore you are urged to use your creativity and clinical judgement in applying the practice expectations.  For example, we know that OTs often utilize and require others in the client’s home / environment  to participate in the telepractice session so the privacy sections may seem overly restrictive.  We also urge you to explore how you can support clients who do not have devices that allow for more elaborate technology such as laptops with WIFI and cameras.  We do not want to create a situation of reduced access to health services for those without technology. Many of you likely already employ this approach but for those who are embarking on telepractice as a new part of your practice, we do not want to inadvertently limit your sound clinical approaches.
  • As noted in earlier messages, COTM supports the reassignment of occupational therapists. You must monitor that you are being asked by those tasked with this type of planning and that you do not take on tasks or procedures that exceed your level of competency. COTM acknowledges that assisting in emergency health planning and redeployment is part of one’s professional obligations. This is addressed in the COTM Code of Ethics – and reads as: Provide services, when appropriate safety precautions exist, during a natural or humanmade disaster, including a communicable disease outbreak, consistent with the profession’s commitment to client well-being.
     
  • The Manitoba Ombudsman has posted guidance regarding response to health information access requests under The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA).  Visit https://www.ombudsman.mb.ca/info/phia.html

Other Relevant Resources

CAOT's COVID-19 updates and resources for occupational therapists

https://www.caot.ca/site/pt/COVID-19?nav=sidebar
CAOT's COVID-19 Practice Support for OTs