By now you may have heard the May 27 announcement that massage therapists and other healthcare providers in Ontario can return to work. Sounds good, right? Not so fast…
Most people are unaware of the time, preparation, and materials required to implement the mandates provided by my regulatory body, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO).
I have not yet chosen a reopening date for my Parkdale home massage studio. I can tell you it will not be in June.
Here’s why I’m choosing to wait:
On Thursday, May 27, the CMTO released 54 pages – that’s not a typo – of required reading outlining the preparation procedures for providing massage therapy in Ontario. These documents were provided after the news broke that we could return to work. Believe me, it was news to me too!
In addition, all RMTs in Ontario must complete minimum 11 online learning modules on infection prevention and control as offered by Public Health Ontario.
In other words, I need time.
There is a universal shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Many companies are sold out or have materials on back order. I have ordered PPE and am waiting for my shipments to arrive before announcing a reopening date.
I paused my regular house cleaning when the lockdown began and am currently working on a new schedule with my maid service. You’d better believe I’m not letting anyone set foot in my house until it has been thoroughly cleaned by a professional.
Toronto ≠ Ontario
The directive from the Ministry of Health applies to all of Ontario. Being the fourth-largest city in North America, Toronto is its own beast. Due to population density, it’s far riskier to reopen businesses here than, say, Latchford (population: 313). Yes, I did just google “smallest town in Ontario.”
Toronto very recently reopened parks and retail. Trinity Bellwoods looked like Coachella just this past Saturday.
It will be at least another week before we begin to see the effect this has on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city. It could even potentially result in another lockdown.
It will take some time, preparation, materials, and data before I am ready to work again. For these reasons and more, I do not feel comfortable announcing a reopening date at this time.
When it comes to public health and safety, I take my job very seriously. As much as I miss working – and my cats miss seeing you! – I can’t in good conscience return to work right now. For your protection and for my own, my business will remain closed for the time being.
Thank you for your ongoing support. It means more than you know.
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