COVID-19 guidance and direction for R.Kins

The following page contains guidance and direction for kinesiologists. Check this page frequently for updates.

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College's statement on the Ontario Government's framework for re-opening the province

The College has reviewed Ontario’s A Framework for Reopening our Province. The document outlines the principles the government will use to re-open businesses, services and public spaces in gradual stages. It also explains the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will use to help advise the government on when it is safe to begin loosening public health restrictions.

The College is closely monitoring activities related to the province’s re-opening, specifically for guidance and timelines for health professionals. As soon as more information is available, we will develop guidance for kinesiologists to help them re-start their practice and offer services in a safe manner.

We would like to thank kinesiologists for their patience during this difficult time. We understand the sacrifices you are making by stopping your practice or reducing services. These efforts are going a long way in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Thank you.


Current situation

    Currently, the Chief Medical Officer of Health's (CMOH) directive is in effect for all kinesiologists. If this directive changes, we will update all kinesiologists accordingly.

    To re-cap: On March 19, 2020, the CMOH issued a directive to all regulated health professionals or individuals who operate a group practice of regulated health professionals (e.g. clinic owners). The CMOH directed that all non-essential and elective services should be ceased or reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice. Allowable exceptions can be made for time sensitive circumstances that prevent negative patient/client outcomes, or that prevent situations that would have a direct impact on patient/client safety. Read the directive.

    What the CMOH's directive means for kinesiologists

    All kinesiologists must follow the CMOH's directive and ensure that they are only providing essential services. We have developed FAQs that answer questions about this directive and other COVID-19 questions. Jump to the FAQs.

    What the CMOH's directive means for virtual services

    The College received clarification from the Ministry of Health that virtual service should be limited to essential services only. This means that regulated health professionals, including kinesiologists, who want to provide services virtually, should only be providing essential services virtually. We have created FAQs on what is essential and virtual services. Jump to the FAQs.

    The reason for stopping or reducing non-essential services

    In addition to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting people's health, the idea behind stopping or reducing non-essential services is to minimize strain on the healthcare system so that other care is prioritized (i.e. for those showing symptoms or suffering from COVID-19). 

    The Ministry of Health's goal is to build and preserve the health system for a potential surge in the incidence of COVID-19 patients, and possible burnout of current front-line health workers. The Ontario Government is asking health professionals to step up and support efforts to combat COVID-19.


    Guidance for kinesiologists


    FAQs

    A service is considered essential if the patient’s/client’s health or function would considerably decline if service is not provided. This definition will apply to patients/clients in very different ways. “Essential” differs depending on the circumstances of each patient/client, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the question of what is essential. 

    You will need to use your professional knowledge and judgement to determine whether a service is essential before providing it, either in-person or virtually. The Chief Medical Officer of Health directed that the only exceptions are for time sensitive circumstances that prevent negative patient/client outcomes, or situations that would have a direct impact on patient/client safety. For example, If not providing service could lead to hospitalization, then the service is considered essential. The idea behind recent directives is to minimize strain on the healthcare system so that other care is prioritized (i.e. for those showing symptoms or suffering from COVID-19). 

    Listed below are some questions to consider when making clinical judgements and ethical decisions about continuing service with patients/clients:

    • Does my patient/client require this service to maintain their health or function for daily living?
    • What are the possible consequences to my patient/client if I don’t provide the service?
    • If I don’t provide this service, will my patient’s/client’s health or function suffer? In the short or long-term, will they need additional care because I didn’t provide this service at this time?

    If you determine it is necessary to provide service in-person, please ensure you are following the College’s Practice Standard- Infection Control and the Ontario Ministry of Health's guidance for health professionals.

    If you determine that providing care virtually is appropriate, view the virtual care FAQ.

    Virtual service is permitted only for essential services. If you determine that virtual care is necessary, view the virtual care FAQ.

    On March 23, 2020, the province announced the temporary closure of non-essential businesses and released the list of essential businesses and services, including the health sector. The list was updated again on April 3, 2020. Sections 36-44 may apply to kinesiologists [link to April 3 update]. While kinesiologists are not explicitly listed, they may work alongside health care workers deemed to be essential, or they work in an essential service/business.

    In these cases, we ask that you follow guidance provided by your employer. Also continue to use your professional judgement to determine if it is appropriate to provide service to a particular patient/client. Please also follow the College’s Practice Standard- Infection Control and the Ontario Ministry of Health's guidance for health professionals.

    Independent health facilities (IHFs) include practices where x-rays, MRIs, dialysis and ultrasounds for diagnostic purposes take place, among other services. Kinesiology practices are not considered IHFs under this definition.

    The College does not have the legal authority to direct facilities and private practices to close. We would advise you and your employer to consider what is an essential service, and if any of these essential services can move virtually. All other non-essential service should stop or be significantly reduced.

    The Premier defined the list of essential businesses and the Chief Medical Officer of Health directed regulated health professions and those who employ them to cease or reduce service. Not complying with an order from the Premier is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000.

    In a health emergency such as a pandemic, kinesiologists and other health professionals may be asked to perform activities that are outside their normal duties. Some of these activities may be controlled acts and require delegation by a practitioner who is authorized to perform them. If you are trained appropriately and given the required personal protective equipment (PPE), the College would expect kinesiologists to be flexible and assist their employer as much as possible.

    We recognize that you may have concerns about being re-assigned and that certain circumstances may prevent you from being re-assigned. If you have concerns about your new assignment, please address them first with your employer.

    We encourage you to follow all advice provided by your employer. Please ensure that you are following the College’s Practice Standard- Infection Control and the Ontario Ministry of Health's guidance for health professionals.

    Kinesiologists are regulated health professionals and can’t “take off their professional hat”. If you are registered with the College, you are expected to follow all applicable government directives and orders, and the College’s standards and guidelines.

    Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health directed that all non-essential services should stop or be reduced. Providing services virtually is only permitted for essential services. Kinesiologists are advised to use their professional judgement in determining whether services are essential, and the College has provided a set of questions to guide you in determining whether a service is essential. See the FAQ on essential service above.

    The College cannot intervene/interfere with the decisions of employers. We encourage you to work with your employer to try to find solutions to minimize risk to you and your patients/clients. All employers should have infection prevention and control protocols in place to protect patients/clients and staff. For more information, view the College’s Practice Standard- Infection Control and the Ministry of Health’s guidance for the health sector.

    You may wish to discuss with your employer ways you may be protected through the use of personal protective equipment, re-assignment or work that could be performed from home. Workplace health and safety committees or representatives also may suggest that employers protect employees and prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially with vulnerable employees and patients/clients.

    Yes. Deadlines for making mandatory reports remain in effect and in force during Ontario's state of emergency. Learn more about mandatory reporting.