Among the many concerns you have about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), are you wondering about attending physical therapy appointments? The good news is that, for now, outpatient therapy clinics are considered a relatively low-risk environment for exposure, and most clinics are well-versed in proper disinfection and protection procedures.
Here’s a list of best practices that therapy offices should be following. Feel free to call your physical therapist and ask about the office’s safety precautions, as well as what your therapist’s recommendation is for you regarding physical therapy appointments.
Please note that this is intended as general advice, and individuals should consult with their own healthcare professionals and follow the advice and direction of government officials.
- Screening new patients on the phone by asking about recent travel and any key symptoms.
- Advising patients who are experiencing symptoms to see their doctor and reschedule appointments.
- Placing signs in the office reminding people to wash their hands and not touch their faces with unwashed hands.
- Increasing cleaning frequency to take extra precautions.
- Offering patients wipes and hand sanitizer.
- Ensuring that staff members wash their hands before and after contact with any patient.
- Sanitizing equipment and surfaces patients contact throughout the day.
- Keeping patients separate from each other as much as possible.
- Reviewing and updating safety and health policies and practices with guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and the local health department.
- Reminding all staff members to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Telling any ill staff members to stay home.