OTA: Further Guidance Offered from Dental, Chiropractic and Other Colleges on Treatment of Essential Workers


On the heels of the welcomed announcement by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to update its guidance for essential workers, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) and the College of Chiropractors of Ontario (CCO) have also clarified their guidance on essential workers.

Both organizations report they have also updated their guidance to allow medical practitioners in their respective fields more flexibility to use clinical judgement when seeing essential workers for medical appointments.

During recent discussions with OTA, the RCDSO advised they are working closely with their College counterparts and the MOH to address this ongoing concern. They also advise that their guidance permits dentists and dental surgeons to exercise clinical judgment when treating essential workers. The applicable guidance issued to dentists can be found in RCDSO’s COVID-19 FAQ page and COVID-19 Guidance Document.

Likewise, CCO continues to have dialogue with the MOH on practices and procedures relating to COVID-19, and although CCO reiterates that there is not a specific exemption for certain types of essential workers, updated CCO guidance documents also provide protocols for their members to use their clinical judgment to assess the risk associated with patients who may have screened positive. The CCO is also encouraging their members to take enhanced protocols to provide care to such patients.

The College of Optometrists of Ontario (COO) indicated travel outside of Canada remains a positive screening result for COVID-19, and if additional options outlined in their FAQ document, including an appointment deferral, using telehealth, or a negative screening result within 14 days cannot be satisfied, scheduling an in-person appointment with an optometrist, or referral to an ophthalmologist, with additional PPE, is possible. The COO has also reported considerably lower enquiries on this topic from truck drivers over the last few months.

OTA also reached out to the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) for additional updates. The CMTO states that “because of the nature of massage therapy treatment, which requires the client and massage therapist to be in close proximity for an extended amount of time, they have advised massage therapists not to treat clients who screen as COVID positive. CMTO is committed to continue working with MOH and other stakeholders to ensure access to care and safety for Ontarians moving forward.”

A briefing note summarizing the guidance and clarifications from various medical Colleges can be found here: Treatment of Essential Workers_public

OTA will continue to provide further updates on this issue as more information or updates are provided.

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