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.
COTM requires all registered occupational therapists to comply with the provincial public health orders.
The current orders under the Emergency Measures Act, the Public Health Act and the Regulated Health Professions Act can be found here: Manitoba Laws (Orders) (gov.mb.ca)
Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Requirements for Designated Persons
All COTM members should inform themselves about employer/workplace policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements as well as where and to whom the public health order applies. They should be prepared for individuals, including clients, to inquire about their vaccination/testing status, particularly where they are self-employed, and be prepared to provide information on the applicable policies in place to ensure adequate protections from COVID-19.
Guidance for the public regarding COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Requirements
COTM encourages members of the public to review the public health order [ Orders requiring vaccination or testing for designated persons/Ordres exigeant la vaccination ou le dépistage pour les personnes désignées (gov.mb.ca) ] as vaccination and testing requirements may vary by health care setting. Members of the public should feel empowered to advocate for their care, including asking the facility or health care provider about their policies regarding vaccination/testing for RNs.
Health Canada Extension
As a reminder, two types of COVID-19 rapid tests are being used in Manitoba, the Abbott Panbio and the BD Veritor Plus.
These tests have had their expiry date (listed on the package) extended by Health Canada and are confirmed to be both safe and effective for the purpose of asymptomatic rapid testing for COVID-19.
More information is available: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-extended-life-rapid-tests.pdf.
Rapid testing – frequently asked questions have also been updated - https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-rapid-testing-faqs.pdf
Keeping Informed About COVID-19
For the Public
- Health Links – Info-Santé – A provincial telephone health information line available to all Manitobans that is staffed by bilingual registered nurses 24/7, 365 days of the year.
- Manitoba Public Health – Coronavirus information for the public, COVID-19 Screening Tool
- Public Health Agency of Canada – Coronavirus information, FAQs and resources
- World Health Organization – COVID-19 Advice for the public
For Health Professionals
It is important you continue to monitor information about COVID-19 as a citizen and as a health professional.
You are urged to regularly (at least daily) visit the webpages below so you can review timely and critical updates:
- Government of Manitoba – https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/index.html
- Shared Health Manitoba – https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/providers/ (Provincial coronavirus resources for health care providers)
- Public Health Agency of Canada – https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html (information for health professionals)
The Manitoba Government website for COVID-19 immunization information is: www.protectmb.ca .
This site provides a vaccine queue calculator, current eligibility criteria, vaccine facts, myths & facts and much more.
Public Health Orders, Emergency Measures Orders and Orders under The Regulated Health Professions Act can be found here: Manitoba Laws (Orders)
As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 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.email@example.com
Contingency Planning Updates
- Renewal will continue as usual. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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:
- 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/redeployment 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.
- If you are asked to do something that is not a normal part of OT practice and is a reserved act as outlined in Part 2, S.4 of The Regulated Professions Act, [ C.C.S. C.C.S.M. c. R117 (gov.mb.ca)M. c. R117 (gov.mb.ca) ] then there are specific rules you must follow to be able to take on these tasks. You are urged to contact Sharon Eadie, COTM Executive Director to discuss these rules that relate to delegation of reserved acts.
- 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