A routine trip to a Saskatchewan chiropractor’s office will look different for patients starting next week.
With the introduction of the first phase of the provincial government’s Re-Open Saskatchewan plan, public access will be reinstated on May 4 for medical services restricted under the current public health order.
Dr. Jennifer Beggs, vice-president of the Chiropractors Association of Saskatchewan, said it’s good to see these services becoming more available to patients that require them.
Chiropractic offices in the province will function differently from what they did before the public health order as well as with the COVID-19 pandemic still going on.
“The patients will be booked so that clinics can maintain social distancing within the clinics, meaning the patient flow will be significantly decreased so that we don’t have people in the waiting room and at the front desks having to be close to one another,” Beggs said.
“Each visit will be different in how we book it because we’ll be disinfecting and cleaning between each patient in our rooms.”
Beggs said patients can bring in their own personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
“We’re emailing paperwork directly to the patient instead of paper copies of receipts, tap on debit machines and a lot of barriers going up between the reception and the patients.”
With the treatment and adjustment portion of chiropractic appointments involving physical contact, Beggs said conservations will take place with clients beforehand.
“But the adjustments itself and the treatments themselves, because of the nature of what chiropractic treatment is, there is still close contact with patients.”
According to Saskatchewan’s plan, medical services staff should screen all clients for visible symptoms consistent with COVID-19. It also says anyone who’s symptomatic should be asked to wear a surgical/procedure mask and medical professionals may determine if appointments should be cancelled.
Beggs said they’ve noticed, over the course of the closure, that a lot of patients have been putting off treatments.
“Things that started and they could deal with, in the last couple weeks, we’ve been getting a lot of calls for emergency care, that things went from being minor and now have turned into things more serious that are stopping people from being able to go to work,” she said.
Other previously restricted medical services that are part of Saskatchewan’s first phase of reopening on May 4 include dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, optician services, podiatry and occupational therapy.
The province’s staged lifting of restrictions will not apply to La Loche and Lloydminster, which are managing outbreaks of COVID-19 cases.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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