Pandemic, Virtual Practice MOU, AARI Updates

OT Practice Guidelines Still in Place for Stage 2 Reopening

Since the Premier announced Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan, the Colleges of the various regulated health professions have been fielding questions about whether the easing of restrictions also apply to the provision of health services – particularly the “all restrictions lifted” messaging that is part of Stage 3 reopening.

For Stage 2, there is no change in the guidance for regulated health professionals. OTs are to continue to follow the guidance provided in the current version of ACOT’s guideline on the Delivery of OT Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic (January 26, 2021). We are still awaiting direction from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) regarding implications of Stage 3 reopening for health care providers (most notably whether continuous masking will still be required during Stage 3). It is recommended that many of the infection prevention practices and workplace controls adopted during the pandemic will become standard practice for OTs.

Note that SAOT still has medical grade masks and other PPE available for sale at a discounted price for paid SAOT members – check out their website for pricing and ordering details.

Status of the Virtual Services Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

OTs from within and outside of Alberta have been asking about when the Virtual Practice MOU will come into effect.

The MOU is still being finalized and each province will have different dates for implementation due to province-specific legislation. Due to this variation, we recommend that you investigate the websites for each of the provinces your clients are physically situated in for information and updates as each province adopts and implements the new MOU as they are able. We do know that COTO has adopted the intent of the new MOU as of June 1st.

We will notify registrants and our cross-jurisdictional counterparts when ACOT is ready to implement the MOU. Note, this MOU will not apply to OTs from outside of Alberta who are providing restricted activities via virtual/remote means to Albertans – in this case, registration in Alberta is still required.

Acting Against Racism and Intolerance (AARI) Work Continues

ACOT’s AARI Advisory Panel and Committee will continue to meet through the summer to provide input into recommendations that will be coming forward to ACOT’s Council in September. We have heard from Advisory Panel and Committee members how racism and intolerance can be experienced daily, and ACOT is committed to reviewing and acting on what we can do to help address this. Many regulatory bodies across Alberta and Canada are doing similar work, and both past and recent events in Canada highlight the importance of continuing this work.