WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government announced last week that as part of its economic reopening plan health-care and therapeutic services will be able to reopen beginning on Monday.
This means as of May 4, regulated health professionals, including dentists, dental hygienists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, optometrists and podiatrists, are no longer limited to just urgent and emergent care. Additionally, the province now permits those who provide therapeutic massage and acupuncture services to resume operations.
But these businesses must operate under a strict set of guidelines as mandated by the government. All clients need to maintain a distance of two metres, except when receiving a service or during brief exchanges, and businesses have to limit occupancy to 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres – whichever is lower.
The following are a list of guidelines that health-care and therapeutic businesses must follow as they begin to reopen:
- Staff, patients or anyone accompanying a patient needs to use a self-screening tool before an appointment is booked;
- Staff have to stay home if they are sick with COVID-19 symptoms;
- Staff must be given information about physical distancing;
- Entry into businesses, including lineups, need to be regulated;
- Businesses have to post signs indicating physical distancing protocols, as well as floor marking to show where the service is provided or line is formed;
- Businesses can only have one point of entry;
- Patients and anyone accompanying a patient will be screened by phone before an appointment is booked;
- Waiting room strategies need to be in place, including waiting in the car when possible and physical distancing while in the waiting room;
- No more than 10 people can gather in a common area;
- Hand sanitizer must be available at entrances and exits;
- Patients and anyone accompanying a patients must sanitize their hands when they enter a facility;
- Work areas need to be sanitized after each patient;
- Washrooms have to be frequently sanitized;
- Magazine racks and toys need to be removed and play areas need to be closed;
- Patients can wear masks when receiving services, if possible; and
- Cashless or no-contact payment should be used as much as possible.
Other businesses that will begin to reopen on Monday, include hair salons, malls, retail stores, golf courses, libraries and restaurant patios.
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