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NCCO's Update on COVID 19

COVID-19 is a novel strain from the coronavirus family that exhibits symptoms similar to the common cold and can lead to serious health complications such as pneumonia, kidney failure, or in some cases, death. The virus’s primary mode of transmission is via respiratory droplets produced by an infected individual which can be spread through cough, sneeze, droplets of saliva, or discharge from the nose. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a pandemic.  

Effective May 26, 2020, the Chief Medical Officer of Health released an amended Directive #2 that authorizes the gradual restart of deferred, non-essential, and elective health care services which include Occupational Therapists to resume these practices when necessary preconditions can be met. NCCO is dedicated to providing quality treatment while exercising safe and effective precautions during these challenging times. The following policies and procedures are outlined to ensure the safety of clients and providers during the gradual return to in-person visits. 

NCCO COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

Prior to In-Person Visits

  • Point of Care Risk Assessment (PCRA)- PCRA assesses the task, the patient, and the environment. Discuss the risks of in-person visits, boundaries, PPE and physical distancing. Before EVERY visit, providers MUST screen clients and any other person(s) who will be present during the sessions using the COVID-19 Patient Screening over the phone.

    • Client Positive Screening - If the client screened positive, providers should instruct the client to Self Isolate, Complete Ontario’s Self Assessment Tool, and contact their primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) for further clinical assessment. 

  • Health Care Provider Screening - Providers proceeding with client visits must practice Self Monitoring to keep track of their health and protect the client’s health. 

  • Limit Number of In-Home Sessions 

  • Limit Number of Clients Per Day

  • Hand Hygiene 

During In-Person Visits

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - If medically able, it is highly recommended for providers and clients to wear PPE during in-person visits. Please review Ontario Health’s Recommendations on the Use and Conservation of PPE

  • Physical Distancing 

  • Respiratory Etiquette 

  • Avoid Touching Your Face with Unwashed Hands

  • Implement Infection Prevention 

Kindly note: the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario currently supports the implementation of services via virtual or phone sessions. Due to the limitations of these alternative forms of therapy, they are NOT to replace direct/in-person treatment once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. 

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart

COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance for Occupational Therapists.

Directive #2

COVID-19 Guidance: Home and Community Care Providers

COVID-19 Guidance: Mental Health and Addictions Service Providers in Community Settings

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