OTTAWA -- To comply with new guidelines amid COVID-19, Orleans Gardens Chiropractic is making adjustments. 

“They have to clean their hands before they come in, we absolutely recommend everyone wear a mask, we wear (personal protective equipment),” said Dr. Mike Mattinen, adding plexiglass has been installed at the clinic.  Patients will also fill out a questionnaire when they arrive.

Chiropractors, massage therapists, dentists and physiotherapists are among dozens of healthcare providers allowed to reopen this week with strict health and safety measures in place.

“We’re going to go slow and easy,” said Mattinen. “We want the people who need the services first to come in and then the people who are maybe not in such rough shape can come a little bit later on but it is going to be an evolution of how to re-establish our practice.

Big changes are also coming to dental clinics according to new guidelines by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons.

There must be three hours between patients after every aerosol-generating procedure, like cleaning or drilling, though ventilation upgrades may be able to reduce that. 

“Within a day each office will see fewer patients,” said Dr. Kim Hansen, the president of the Ontario Dental Association.

Each room must also have floor-to-ceiling walls and a door so it is divided from other spaces.

Patients must also wear masks before and after procedures and there must also be adequate PPE for those providing care including gowns, face shields and N95 masks.

“Access to that PPE for everyone’s safety is on the minds of 60-70 per cent of our members that’s a primary concern so we’ve been reaching out to government to tell them for us to get back in our offices we need that PPE,” said Hansen.

Measures have been in place for weeks at Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sport Clinics in anticipation of getting the go-ahead to reopen.

“We don’t have a waiting area so now people are asked to wait in their cars,” said owner Mathew Pulickal. “We’ve basically eliminated every second bed. Its lower volume in the clinic, less things that are around, there’s plexiglass at the front desk and our cleaning protocols are just way more frequent.”