What BC’s Restart Plan Means for Occupational Therapists

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020 the Premier announced BC’s Restart Plan to establish the ‘new normal’. The government’s reopening blueprint has four phases. It’s important to note we are still in Phase One.

Community occupational therapy services are included in Phase Two, which is expected to begin following the May Long Weekend, and no earlier than May 19, 2020. The plan reinforces caution and a slow return to the activities in each phase. [Listen to the Premier’s announcement.]

For OTs in community private practice, we know you have questions including:

  • What does the return to the provision of in-person community occupational therapy services look like?
  • How do OTs prepare themselves and their practice environment to ensure services are delivered safely to the client; and colleagues and staff are protected as well?

In the coming weeks you can expect to receive information from the College to support your return to practice. We are in the process of developing guidelines that outline expectations for occupational therapists when the gradual return to practice is permitted as part of Phase 2.

Developing these guidelines involves working closely with our counterpart BC health regulators. We also receive input from the Provincial Health Officer and Ministry of Health on environmental considerations, requirements for infection prevention and control, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Our priority is to finalize the guidelines to ensure that the public is protected, and registrants are able to return to community practice safely. Please continue to check the COTBC website for updates and new information.

Thank you for your ongoing professionalism and cooperation during these challenging times.