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Practising during COVID-19

The College continues to monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and we will update this page as information becomes available or changes. We acknowledge this has been a challenging time for healthcare professionals and the healthcare system. The safety of the public, including kinesiologists, remains our top priority. We appreciate your patience as we monitor and interpret guidance and, most importantly, your unwavering commitment to providing safe care to your patients/clients.

Current situation

For the latest information on restrictions in place in Ontario, view the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 web page.

On April 7, the Chief Medical Officer of Health issued an update to Directive #2 (originally issued on May 26, 2020) to all regulated health professionals or individuals who operate a group practice of regulated health professionals (e.g. clinic owners). 

The update intends to enable regulated health professionals to meet the emergent and urgent health care needs of patients with COVID-19.

The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario has determined that the recent changes pose minor impacts on registrants, and with certain limitations, kinesiologists are permitted to continue providing services when all necessary precautions and protocols are in place to protect patients/clients and themselves.

If you practise in an area that is in the grey zone (i.e. lockdown):

Some kinesiologists may practise in a region that has closed gyms and fitness facilities. The Ministry of Health has clarified that restrictions on gyms and fitness facilities only apply if a kinesiologist owns/operates or works at a facility for indoor sports and indoor recreational fitness activities. If a kinesiologist owns such a facility and wishes to use the space for one client at a time (i.e. no indoor group classes or multiple clients at time), this is permissible so long as the College’s guidance is followed.

Additional Declaration Under Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (Updated April 28, 2021)

On April 22, the Ontario Government enacted an additional declaration under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) which states:

“Regulated health professionals, either from Ontario or out-of-province, are now authorized to provide care and engage outside of their regular scope of practice, provided that it is necessary in response to the pandemic and is consistent with the duties that are assigned or the privileges that are granted by the hospital, and the professional acts in a manner that is consistent with any measures taken by a hospital as part of its efforts to respond to, prevent and alleviate the outbreak of COVID-19. Hospitals are responsible to ensure that staff members are only assigned tasks or asked to deliver services that they are reasonably qualified to provide. (Read full Act)

Please refer to our re-deployment FAQs for further information on re-deployment and performing newly assigned tasks outside of regular duties.

The College urges kinesiologists to keep themselves informed and use their professional judgment to navigate the ongoing pandemic. Any further information or instructions relevant to the scope of practice will be shared as it becomes available.

Guidance for practising during COVID-19

Kinesiologists and their employers must assess the risks of providing service in-person and implement appropriate infection control and prevention measures. You should also monitor the spread of COVID-19 in your community as you make decisions about providing service. You can refer to data from the Ontario GovernmentPublic Health Ontario and your local public health unit.

Where possible, you are encouraged to limit the number of in-person visits for your safety and the safety of patients/clients. Kinesiologists are in the best position to determine which services should be provided virtually and which services can safely resume in-person with appropriate precautions and protocols in place to protect you and your patients/clients. The updated Directive 2 outlines principles for healthcare professionals (of proportionality, minimizing harm to patients/clients, equity and reciprocity) to consider in providing fair and transparent care to clients.

Guidance for providing service in-person

Guidance for virtual care

Guidance from the Ministry of Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health

Information is changing quickly, so please note that guidance may change. Check the College’s website regularly for the latest guidance and information.

If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Lawrence, the College’s Practice Advisor, via email.

FAQs

Regulated health professionals, such as kinesiologists, can continue to practise during the pandemic. Kinesiologists are in the best position to determine which services to continue providing during this time, in consideration of their unique circumstances (e.g. patient/client needs, local restrictions, etc.). The College encourages all kinesiologists to use their professional judgement to determine which services should be provided in-person, and which may be better suited to provide virtually.

While you are permitted to work during this time, you may work at a setting that is closed. Please also discuss these circumstances with your employer and adjust your practice as necessary. If appropriate, you may be able to provide services virtually.

No, you do not need to report this information to the College. However, all kinesiologists are reminded that COVID-19 is a reportable disease, and you must contact your local public health unit to report any probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19.