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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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 to avert or avoid negative patient outcomes, or to avert or avoid a situation that would have a direct impact on the safety of patients. 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.

    Guidance for kinesiologists


    A service is considered essential if the patient’s/client’s health or function would considerably decline if service was 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 allowable exceptions are for time sensitive circumstances to avert or avoid 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?
    • Have I prioritized patients/clients according to their individual risk? 
    • Can I meet some of the patient’s/client’s needs using alternative means for service, such as virtual or phone check-in, as a way of bridging service? 
    • Can I work with my other health system partners and referral sources to identify patients/clients with urgent needs? 
    • Does my organization have pandemic tools and resources to help me make decisions about service priorities? 
    • What would be the impact on my patient/client if I were asked to work elsewhere in the healthcare system to respond this pandemic?

    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.