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  • Mark Austin

Some Safety Updates / Thank You



Hey everyone,

I just wanted to reach out and update everyone on what I’ve been doing to maximize your safety when you come to see me at physiobox. I am following all guidelines as described by the Alberta Physiotherapy College + Association, Alberta Health Services, and the Government of Alberta in protecting you from COVID-19, and more.

Here is some of what I’m doing to maximize your comfort and safety:

· I will be adding an extra 15-minute 'buffer time' between every patient visit. Although I already book 45-60+ minute appointments which usually allow for plenty of cleaning time, and rarely book anyone back-to-back anyway, I want you to feel extra safe. This will allow increased time for cleaning, to allow air to circulate, to prevent anyone from crossing paths in the hallway, and for all patients to come directly from the main entrance of the gym to my office without having to wait near the entrance or in the waiting area. When you come for future appointments, feel free to come directly to my door, and knock if it is closed.

· I will continue to wear a mask at all times during your appointment. I am also requiring that all patients wear a mask (including when you enter the gym) during their appointments. This is not only for your safety but also for the safety of myself and all others who are coming to see me for treatment. You can remove your mask while doing exercise and while lying face down on the treatment table if needed. If you feel claustrophobic, have anxiety, or a breathing issue related to mask use, please just let me know and we will work something out.

· As I have been doing since opening this summer, all surfaces and equipment, including the treatment table, chairs, exercise equipment and bands, manual therapy tools, door handles, coat hangers, debit card reader, etc. are thoroughly disinfected immediately between every patient with hospital-grade disinfectant. My space is also equipped with a HEPA air purifier that runs all day.

· Lastly, as you know, physiobox is a small independent practice that deals with very low volumes of patients in and out of the clinic space compared to most other physiotherapy clinics. I see a maximum of 7-8 patients a day, and I do not share my space with anyone else.

The gym that my space is located in, Evolve Strength, has also enhanced their precautions. I want you to know that the owners of Evolve Strength Sunridge and I take your safety in the gym very seriously. Currently, the gym rules are as follows:

· Evolve is currently operating at 25% capacity (<60 people in the 10 000 sq ft space at a time). Over the past week, most members have avoided coming at ‘peak times’ and have been coming throughout the day instead, so the gym has yet to come close to reaching this limit.

· Members and my patients must wear masks at all times when in the gym, except for when performing an exercise or at their exercise station. Masks must be worn when entering and leaving the gym, walking between equipment, and in and out of the change rooms and common areas.

· All members are to wipe and disinfect their equipment immediately before and after use. The gym staff is also regularly cleaning the facilities throughout the day.

· All group fitness classes have been canceled.

· Additional barriers and tape have been installed to prevent people from walking too close to each other when moving between equipment.

Global and local tracing data to date show that very few known sources of COVID-19 transmissions have originated from large gym spaces with social distancing measures in place. Most outbreaks that we have heard about have originated from smaller fitness studios (i.e. spin classes in smaller spaces). That said, if you are still uncomfortable with using the gym right now, or being extra careful to protect yourself or a loved one, please let me know. We can always keep exercise within my treatment room when you come in for your session.

Online physiotherapy is still a great option. Hands-on assessment and treatment are always helpful to have, but most issues can still be resolved with online care, and my current online clientele has had great success. For more information on how online physiotherapy might be worth it for you, please click here. If you know anyone who is particularly concerned about exposure but dealing with a lot of pain or an injury, please let them know I’m here and we can still get them better through online care.

Outside of work, I am taking COVID-19 very seriously and have limited my own exposure as much as possible, and I am following all of the current regulations set by the Alberta government. We all must do our part. That means lots of quality time with my dog, cooking good food, and enjoying the outdoors, and maybe some time on the couch playing video games. If you are struggling with your mental health during the upcoming weeks, and just need someone to talk to, please know that I am here. Even if it is not physiotherapy related, don’t hesitate to reach out, you are not alone. Remember to practice good sleep hygiene, get as much sunshine as possible, eat well, and to keep active. Breathe! I will be updating my Facebook page, Instagram profile, and website with new exercise videos in the coming weeks. I know there has been a delay here but sit tight! Things are getting back on track. Lastly, thank you so much to everyone who has come in to see me this year; for every visit, for every referral of a friend or family member, for every review, and for every kind word of encouragement. Your continued support of my cause—to offer personal, holistic, thorough, one-on-one physiotherapy care at an affordable rate to everyone-- means the world to me. I am confident we will pull through the next few months and come through stronger and more resilient than before. Stay safe!

Mark

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