CASEM Board of Directors Statement on COVID-19
Dear CASEM member,
First and foremost, we hope that all of you are staying safe and healthy. It has been quite a week and things continue to change daily in terms of COVID-19, affecting our work, personal lives, sport and activity.
As all of you are aware the federal government has recommended that people stay at home (physical distancing), and only leave for essentials such as medication and food. Several provinces including Ontario and Quebec have tightened restrictions further and asked that all but essential businesses remain closed. Several members have asked how this may affect the delivery of sport medicine services and have asked if their colleagues are providing office-based care, virtual care or have closed their offices. Questions have also arisen around the type of care being provided and if people were performing hands-on procedures, such as steroid injections etc.
Canadians are currently considered at high risk FOR infection and there is evidence that community transmission, and probably asymptomatic transmission is now occurring. At the time of this email over 3,400 cases with 35 deaths have occurred in Canada. The Covid-19 infection rate curve is moving steeply upward.
Many provinces have encouraged virtual care via telephone, video telehealth networks or other commercial alternatives and have created billing codes to allow payment for these “visits”. Routine follow up and even new patient non urgent care can be performed this way.
Non urgent MSK care and most sport medicine related activities are considered to be nonessential at this time. CASEM recommends that each member communicate with their local public health board, provincial medical society, and provincial and federal regulatory bodies regarding the most appropriate and safest way to provide Sport Medicine services in their jurisdiction. It will require the collective efforts of all Canadians to manage this virus pandemic.
For those members providing front line care please take the utmost care of both yourselves and the rest of your health care team. If there is anything that CASEM can do to help anyone through these difficult times do not hesitate to reach out.
Stay safe and healthy,
The Board and CASEM staff