COVID-19: March 31st Update ~ Manitoba Athletic Therapists Association

COVID-19: March 31st Update

Yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced that as of April 1, 2020, all non-critical services must close in Manitoba implementing the Public Health Act.  The scope of practice of Athletic Therapy does still classify as an essential service which may remain open to provide urgent or emergent care.

Please note that some Athletic Therapy clinics have been forced to close due to their size (inability to control sanitation adequately) or location, as clinics that are located in fitness centres and been mandated to close.  If you have closed your clinic and have NOT let the MATA office know already, please do so by emailing

Members who continue to practice should review the following information:
Determining what essential services are, in the context of athletic therapy is challenging due to the diversity of practice. Members must consider their practice context and use independent professional judgment to make responsible decisions. The following are some suggestions to define essential services:

  • Essential services include assessment and therapeutic intervention or services for conditions/situations where not receiving athletic therapy services (whether in-person or virtually) would put the patient’s safety at risk. There is potential for significant harm, adverse patient outcomes or suffering.
  • Services to address a decline in functional independence or safety of those beginning to fail at home
  • Services specified as urgent by a referral source or deemed urgent to prevent a poor outcome
  • Services for clients with complex care needs who require a co-ordinated team approach.
  • Services to support clients in critical roles remaining at work i.e. health professional, emergency services in the community, essential services employees.
Specific situations which could be considered as essential athletic therapy services include but are not limited to:
  • A patient who is currently experiencing incapacitating musculoskeletal pain.
  • Any scenario where the inability to initiate care or the withdrawal of care would lead to the significant deterioration of a patient’s condition and the patient is at risk for imminent hospital admission or re-admission.
  • Follow-up immediately post-discharge from hospital to the community to ensure safe return to home and prevent re-admission to the hospital.
  • A patient who has suffered from severe musculoskeletal dysfunction or pain.
The MATA would like to remind all members that treatments via telerehabilitation do not need to fall into the categories outlined above and are a welcomed alternative at this time.  The MATA office continues to explore and research available software for telerehabilitation.  This will be communicated to members as it becomes available. ​

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