To keep you informed on how the COVID-19 pandemic affects your practice, we update this Q & A regularly and email you with special bulletins for your province. We encourage you to share this information, our social media posts, and our COVID-19 resources with your contacts.
COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Manual for Alberta Massage Therapists
Workplace Cleaning Log
Return-to-work Member Handbook
COVID-19: Caution to Clients Entering Clinic Poster
Proper Handwashing Protocol Poster
General COVID-19 Client Waiver
Alberta COVID-19 Client Waiver (Contact Tracing Opt-in)
COVID-19 Safety Precautions Poster
We are monitoring how the pandemic is impacting our members and adjusting our measures as needed.
We currently have the following measures in place:
If you need further assistance, contact our Member Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With any vaccination, there is a local contraindication to the site of injection. If there is redness and soreness, consider the entire limb as contraindicated for treatment.
Some people will have no side-effects after receiving the vaccination, and some may have mild to moderate flu-like or COVID-like symptoms. If your client has these symptoms, delay their treatment for 24 to 48 hours until their symptoms are gone.
As usual, all clients must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their appointment. Your client's answers to the COVID-19 screening questions will help you determine whether an appointment is appropriate or not.
COVID-19 symptoms that are new and not related to a known or pre-existing condition mean that the client is not eligible for treatment.
For additional information about vaccination, Alberta Health's Vaccination Q&A (PDF) answers many questions that are relevant to practitioners across Canada. Please refer to your provincial/territorial government website for location-specific topics like vaccination roll-out.
AstraZeneca Vaccine and Blood Clots
Health Canada has advised of rare reports of blood clots associated with low levels of blood platelets in AstraZeneca vaccine recipients.
If your client has received the AstraZeneca vaccine within the last 20 days, ask them the following question:
Have you experienced any of the following?
If they answer "yes," they should seek immediate medical attention.
Self-isolation requirements depend on your province or territory. If you know of a client, co-worker, or family member who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, you may need to self-isolate.
Please check with your provincial or territorial government for whether you need to self-isolate or not based on your contact with the person in question.
AB – Information for Close Contacts of a COVID-19 Case
BC – Self-isolation and COVID-19 (PDF) & Close contacts
MB – Information for close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases
NB – Isolation
NL – Self-isolation and Self-monitoring
NS – Self-isolation requirements
NT – Mandatory Isolation
NU – COVID-19 Isolation (PDF)
ON – How to self-isolate & Self-isolation because of potential exposure
PE – COVID-19 Self-Isolation
QC – Instructions for people who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
SK – Self-isolation & Who is a close contact?
YT – Self-isolation Information
A client's health history includes vaccination status and whether they have been infected with COVID-19 or not. However, you must have a valid purpose for collecting this personal health information before asking for it.
If you think these factors may impact your client's treatment plan, it is appropriate to ask them about it when you ask about their health history. Remember that this is considered part of their health history, and the same data collection and privacy safeguards should be applied.
Regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not, you must continue to screen all clients for COVID-19 symptoms. Screening should not include asking whether a client has been vaccinated or not; that should only be asked as part of their health history during treatment.
Yes. Vaccination is only one part of the overall infection control strategy, and safety and sanitation protocols must remain in place for all clients, regardless of their vaccination status.
Continue to follow all public health measures for prevention and control of COVID-19 infection and transmission.
For changes in quarantine requirements for those who have been fully immunized (i.e. received their first and second vaccine), check with provincial/territorial health authorities.
No. If a client asks whether you have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or not, you do not have to provide that information, as it is considered personal health information.
If you do not want to answer them, then let them know it is considered personal health information and that you choose not to disclose it.
If you want to answer them, simply state whether you have been vaccinated or not, and do not provide an explanation. A client may misunderstand an explanation as advice or counselling, which is outside the scope of practice of NHPC members.
It is not within the scope of practice of any NHPC member to provide advice or counselling about vaccines. To avoid misunderstandings and liability, do not provide your opinion on vaccines to clients.
If a client asks you for your opinion or information on vaccination, refer them to their primary health care provider or provincial or federal health authorities for information.
Private businesses are free to decide who they serve to protect the health and safety of their clients and staff. However, NHPC members are holistic health care professionals who have ethical standards to consider when deciding whether to refuse treatment based on vaccination status or other criteria.
Currently, we do not recommend that you refuse to treat clients based on their vaccination status. Although the NHPC Code of Ethics (PDF) states that you can
retain and practice the right to refuse to treat any client if the provision of such treatment poses risk of harm either to the client or to the practitioner
by following all the COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols, such as wearing the required PPE and screening clients for symptoms and close contacts, you can still provide appropriate care in a relatively safe environment for clients, staff, and yourself.
Also consider that the Code of Ethics states that practitioners will refrain from discriminating against clients based on a medical condition.
If a client has a medical condition or disability that prevents them from being vaccinated or they choose not to be vaccinated due to religious beliefs, refusing to treat them may be a violation of the human rights legislation that protects Canadians against discrimination based on religion and disabilities.
Whether or not an individual is vaccinated is considered sensitive personal health information. We advise that you do not place vaccination status on a company website or booking site because it is personal health information.
Keep in mind that there are practitioners who cannot be vaccinated due to health conditions, disability, or religious beliefs, which are protected grounds under human rights legislation.
If your provincial/territorial or municipal government has ordered that non-essential services must be suspended, then you must close your practice until they lift those orders. The NHPC Code of Ethics states that members must abide by applicable laws, regulations, and legislation, so you have both an ethical and legal obligation to follow any public health orders.
Please check in the Provincial and Territorial Bulletins section below to see if business/service closures have been ordered for your province or territory.
If your province or territory has announced that your business type can re-open, you must take the required precautions in your workplace. This includes all sanitation, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and physical distancing measures required by the government.
If you can't take the precautions necessary to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 — for any reason or at any time — you should not practise.
Check the Provincial and Territorial Bulletins section below for required workplace precautions for your province or territory. You can use our Return-to-work Member Handbook (PDF) as a supplement to any government requirements.
If you own a clinic, hold an orientation for staff to ensure they know all sanitation and distancing procedures, and post the procedures where they can easily refer to them.
The following resources are also available for you to use in your practice:
COVID-19: Caution to Clients Entering Clinic Poster (PDF)
Proper Handwashing Protocol Poster (PDF)
General COVID-19 Client Waiver (PDF)
Alberta COVID-19 Client Waiver (Contact Tracing Opt-in) (PDF)
The Government of Canada is offering various benefits to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.
Pandemics are not specifically excluded from your insurance coverage. If you are a regular member, your medical malpractice insurance coverage is in effect as long as you are following provincial/territorial requirements (at minimum) for safety when practising.
Any cases brought against members due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be examined on a case-by-case basis by the insurance company.
Your medical malpractice insurance does not cover loss of income or business interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It does cover client claims of negligence during their treatment resulting in bodily injury, sickness, or disease.
For further questions about your coverage, please contact AON, the plan administrator, directly at: email@example.com or 1-877-766-3093.
If you have additional questions that aren't answered on your provincial/territorial government websites, please contact your local Member of Parliament.
Please check with your provincial health authority to determine quarantine requirements for your location.
Regularly check municipal and provincial/territorial government health services for updates on the current status of the virus, hygiene practices for health professionals, and workplace preparation.
Also check your inbox for messages from the NHPC and this Q&A, which is updated frequently.
If you teach workshops in-person, think about if you could adapt your content to be taught via video or online webinar. If you can, not only does it count for CCP credits (Learning Type: Teaching) but it could also be another source of income.
Refer to our CCP Guide (PDF) for all the learning types and their credit eligibility.
Since the Continued Competency Program (CCP) requires in-person First Aid and CPR training, you do not have to complete this requirement until it is safe to do so.
There is a difference in course price and length when renewing an active certificate vs. recertifying because your certificate has expired. Please contact your First Aid and CPR/AED provider for details on pricing.
Some providers continue to offers classes with participant limits to accommodate physical distancing if you don't want to wait. Other providers are extending the dates existing certification is considered valid to help practitioners whose certification would expire while physical distancing is in effect.
Please check with your First Aid and CPR/AED provider directly for their individual COVID-19 policies.
You may communicate with existing clients this way. For example, a massage therapist could suggest home care and exercises for clients.
If you charge a fee for this service, you cannot bill it as "massage therapy" or any other touch-based modality because it does not constitute a full treatment. You must advise your clients that this online service may not be covered by their insurance provider.
You must also ensure that whatever platform you use is confidential and secure, so you are in compliance with health care privacy legislation.
If you treat family members, you must be able to maintain objective care, meeting all professional standards and requirements in every aspect of the treatment, including record-keeping, receipting, and maintaining client confidentiality.
Insurance companies may have specific policies on treating family members. Therefore, they may flag a family member treatment as potential benefit plan abuse or conflict of interest and not reimburse the claim. Contact the insurance company directly to ask about their policies before providing treatment.
We are gathering self-care resources to help members take care of their emotional and mental well-being during this stressful time.
Start by attending to both your physical and mental well-being with the Meditate and Move self-care videos from the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).
Your provincial and territorial governments may also offer resources for COVID-19 stress and anxiety management:
Supporting Mental Health & Wellness in a Time of Stress & Isolation (Alberta)
Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression (PDF) (British Columbia)
Care for Your Mental Health (Manitoba)
Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 (New Brunswick)
Mental Health and Wellness (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Mental Health and Social Distancing (Northwest Territories)
Mental health and well-being (Nova Scotia)
Managing Anxiety and Stress During COVID-19 (PDF) (Nunavut)
Ontario Increasing Mental Health Support During COVID-19 (Ontario)
Mental Health Online, Phone, and Text-based Supports (Prince Edward Island)
Stress, Anxiety and Depression Associated with COVID-19 (Quebec)
Mental Health and COVID-19 (Saskatchewan)
COVID-19 counselling and crisis support (Yukon Territory)
Information for Close Contacts of a COVID-19 Case
File a consumer complaint against a business
Guidance for Re-opening (Business Reopening’s)
Emergency financial assistance (Financial Assistance)
Restrictions on gatherings and businesses (Business Closures)
Supporting Mental Health & Wellness in a Time of Stress & Isolation
Support for employers and employees (Financial Assistance)
Support for Albertans (Financial Assistance)
COVID-19 info for Albertans
Information for Health Professionals
Returning to safe operation (Business Reopenings)
BC's Economic Recovery Plan (Business Re-openings)
COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information (Financial Assistance)
Financial Supports in Response to COVID-19 (Financial Assistance)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Pandemic Response System (Business Restrictions - Current Levels)
File a complaint about price gouging with the Consumer Protection Office
Care for Your Mental Health
Business Continuity Planning for Disease Outbreak (PDF)
Resources for Health Providers
Newfoundland and Labrador
Report price gouging to Consumer Affairs
Mental Health and Social Distancing
Information on Income Security Programs (Financial Assistance)
Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief (Financial Assistance)
Northwest Territories Government Newsroom
Public Safety Notices
State of Emergency Price Gouging Prohibition
Reopening Guidelines for Massage Therapists (PDF)
Reopening Guidelines for Reflexologists (PDF)
Nova Scotia Reopening Plan (Business Reopenings)
Mental health and well-being
Support for Individuals, Families and Businesses (Financial Assistance)
Nova Scotia Government YouTube Channel
Nova Scotia Government Facebook Page
Nova Scotia Health and Wellness Facebook Page
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Prince Edward Island
Consumer complaints about price gouging
Mental Health Online, Phone, and Text-based Supports for Islanders
COVID-19 Supports and Services (Financial Assistance)
For Businesses (Financial Assistance)
Price gouging prohibited in Saskatchewan during pandemic
Mental Health and COVID-19
Province Announces Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan
Support for Workers and Businesses (Financial Assistance)
COVID-19 Information for Businesses and Workers
Public Health Orders
Information for Health Care Providers
COVID-19 counselling and crisis support
COVID-19 support for Yukoners (Financial Assistance)
Information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for Yukoners
Government of Canada
Financial Assistance Questionnaire
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) (Financial Assistance)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Infection prevention and control for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Managing your Business During COVID-19
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
World Health Organization (WHO)