Tonight, new guidelines were released that impact your practice. The executive order issued today allows healthcare to reopen, including chiropractic, with stipulations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Click Here To Read The Executive Order.
Below is the language that was changed today, giving us more guidance going forward.
In high-touch clinical settings (e.g., physical therapy, chiropractic care) healthcare workers directly manipulating the patient must wear single-use non-latex gloves when manipulating the patient in addition to enhanced hand hygiene compliance; any objects and contact surfaces used for clinical services must be sanitized and disinfected between patients. All necessary steps must be taken to reduce body to body contact (e.g., PPE gown, cloth barrier, technique selection);
The initial portion of this language is the same as prior guidance, but they did add the last sentence. Since the spread of COVID 19 is dependent on contact, this guidance is aimed to address the body to body contact that occurs with hands-on practitioners.
Based on the guidance as written, you should select techniques that reduce body to body contact when possible. If you do utilize a technique that requires contact other than with your hands, a gown or cloth covering would be required between you and the patient. The gown or cloth covering would be required to be disposed of or washed between patients. A few examples of situations that would require additional protection would be side posture manipulation, anterior thoracics and extremities requiring body contact.
Based on the guidance, a cloth covering could be a patient gown that is draped over the area of contact, separating you from the patient. This new guidance needs to be implemented in your office immediately. Strict adherence to the guidelines will help to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 and a possible spike in the numbers.