Karen Craven (BSPT'96) from Craven Sport Services says she won’t open unless they have all the appropriate safety measures in place including PPE.

'It’s a conundrum': Saskatoon physiotherapist won’t reopen until safety measures in place

Karen Craven (BSPT'96) from Craven Sport Services says that in order for her business to start accepting walk-in clients again, a lot needs to be put in place to protect employees and clients.

The first phase of the province’s Re-Open Saskatchewan plan allows some medical services to open their doors on May 4.

“We're physical therapy, we're a physical type of profession,” said Karen Craven (BSPT'96), co-owner of Craven Sport Services.

“Social distancing is difficult and that goes for any profession mentioned in Phase One,” Craven said in an interview with CTV News.

Craven said she’s working on setting up safety precautions at her downtown clinic and expects not to open until the place is 100 per cent ready.

A big part is acquiring the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We already know there’s a shortage of PPE,” Craven said.

The Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association said it understands acquiring PPE for physiotherapists is a barrier therapists will run into.

“One of the requirements for primary health care clinics such as physiotherapists to open are the use of masks and as we know there’s a worldwide shortage on surgical masks so a clinic’s ability to open may hinge on its ability to acquire PPE,” said Isabel Johnston, a member of the executive council for the association.

“Some of them may have had this before but I imagine some of the clinics would have donated their resources to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, so now acquiring those resources might hamper their ability to re-open if they don’t have the right PPE for their employees.”

In a statement the provincial government said it is continuing to work with suppliers and the federal government to acquire PPE. The province encourages any business looking for PPE to reach out to the Business Response Team.

The province said Phase One businesses need to minimize the number of people in a waiting area to 10, sanitize high-touch areas after every use and screen clients and employees for COVID-19.

Since the pandemic hit Saskatchewan, Craven said her team adapted the business to provide services over video conference. Craven-Connect has allowed the clinic to continue working.

Johnston said it’s likely these virtual platforms for treating clients will continue even though business will be open. She said what clinics might see is a slow trickle of clients coming back, but others will keep on with the virtual sessions for treatment until they are comfortable to visit the clinic in person.

“I think most will open in some capacity. I don’t know if PPE will be there and I don’t know if people will come back right away,” Johnston said.

Craven said businesses in Phase One might feel pressured to open May 4.

“It's that conundrum, we do want to re-open but we don't want to put everybody's health at risk and that's the dilemma. I think that's why we all in Phase One are doing everything we can to do their due diligence to have the safety protocols in place."

Article originally posted on https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca.

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