As citizens and frontline health care professionals, occupational therapists need to be well informed about precautions and protocols that mitigate risks of contact with or spread of the coronavirus. SAOT recognizes the extraordinary pressures members are experiencing both in their day to day lives and as related to their work. The Society is making every effort to provide current, useful information to facilitate your planning and decision-making and to frame our services in ways to best protect you through these unprecedented times.
What is SAOT Doing?
To support efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, SAOT staff office operations are being managed remotely. Staff are actively working – we’re open for business and to support you! Telephone, email and meeting capabilities have not been negatively impacted as we have capacity to work remotely in place.
D: 780-238-9111 (we will respond as soon as time permits)
Visit this page for updates and resources!
Personal Protective Equipment
Professional Liability Insurance – COVID-19 and Virtual Practice
With the rapidly evolving changes in relation to COVID-19 and its subsequent impacts on the workforce in Alberta, many OTs and OTAs are utilizing technology to deliver their professional services, where possible.
Your SAOT Professional Liability Insurance through HDF Insurance has no restrictions in relation to delivering professional services virtually, as long as you are working within your scope of practice and reside in Canada.
At this time SAOT Workshops & Events continue to be offered in online format, as per health guidelines.
Reliable Sources of Information
To ensure that members are receiving consistent information, SAOT directs members to the following reliable resources of information. We urge all members to be informed, respectful and compliant of advisories and recommendations and to be in a position to inform clients of any implications for access to OT services.
- Alberta College of Occupational Therapists
- Alberta Health Services dedicated web page for health workers and health employers
- this site is updated regularly and provides the most current provincial guidance
- Need signage for your practice to alert patients and visitors to restrictions? Download here.
- Government of Alberta Public Facing COVID-19 Information
- Up to date resources that can support you as a citizen and be a good reference for your clients
- Your Employer/Contracting Organization
- Occupational therapists employed or contracted should consult with their employer/contractor for specific organizational policy and any directives unique to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WFOT recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the daily lives of many people around the world. To assist occupational therapists at this unprecedented time, WFOT has developed a central registry of WFOT and local/national resource documents, strategies and guidance about occupational therapy and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Morning Star Lodge: Indigenous Community-Based Health Research Lab: COVID-19 Fact Sheet and The Protecting Our Home Fires Strategy for Indigenous Communities. Includes activities for those practicing social distancing.
Employment Related Resources
SAOT recognizes the many potential impacts that the virus, isolation/quarantine or work/school/daycare restrictions will have on members’ earning capacity. We are pleased that there are government efforts to address the personal economic impacts of this situation and urge members to review the following supports:
Federal Government Supports
For information on government financial supports, please visit: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Supporting our clients, friends and families through difficult times
Occupational therapists can be in a unique position to support clients who may be particularly fearful at this time, ensuring they have access to quality, scientific information, by sharing stress management strategies and by leading by example in the practice of precautions. The emerging situation may require significant limitation or disruption of services or alternatives to direct service delivery (e.g. telephone/web-based consultation) which, if necessary, should be clearly communicated to clients and all referring sources. Albertans have real need for occupational therapy so we urge you to take care of yourself and your family, engaging all precautions and safe hygiene practices. We want to keep our OT workforce and our membership healthy!
Mental health supports
AHS has boosted its service to help Albertans should they need to speak with someone about mental health concerns.
If Albertans call the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2323 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, they will be connected directly to a dedicated team of AHS addiction and mental health staff.
This change will allow 811 operators to focus on COVID-19 calls during the day and improve wait times for others needing telephone advice. Calls placed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. will continue to be routed through 811.
Hope for Wellness
Online mental health counselling for Indigenous People across Canada
- Mindfulness Audio Tracks and Videos
- Parenting resources
- Relationships and Coping
- Resources for Mental Health Professionals
- For Educators and School Personal
Centre for Online Mental Health Support
Online programs and mental health support for:
- Essential Workers
Online exercise programs. Down Dog is offering free programs for Healthcare workers, School Teachers and Students, and community members (Unit May 1st, July 1st, etc). More details on their website.
Mental Health Commission
Resources on managing self-care and resilience. Tip sheets for talking about CoVid19.
Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak
Suggestions and Tips for social distancing, isolation and quarantine. Occupational therapists know how important engagement in meaningful occupations is to health and well-being! At times when people’s routines of daily living are disrupted as they are so significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stay in Touch!
We’re working to keep you apprised… You have our commitment to share information as we receive it and to update this webpage regularly. Now is a good time to follow SAOT’s social media platforms. Link with us and share your perspectives on our posts on Facebook.
UofA MScOT Fieldwork Update re: COVID-19 Pandemic
The UofA Department of OT respects and greatly appreciates the ongoing commitment and effort being demonstrated by individuals and agencies in order to provide occupational therapy services, including student placements, during continuing pandemic circumstances. We are grateful for the tremendous effort and commitment that Alberta OTs are demonstrating to try to offer and maintain placements, especially in the face of this 4th wave.
Throughout the pandemic period, we have been proceeding with OT fieldwork placements for 2nd and 3rd year students in AB and SK where/whenever possible. In consultation with our many fieldwork sites/partners throughout our catchment area, we have proactively rescheduled fieldwork placements to focus on the needs of 2nd and 3rd year students while postponing 1st year placements and cancelling the annual fall introductory fieldwork placement in order to reduce pressure on our OT communities.
Given these changes, the MScOT fieldwork schedule for Fall 2021 and the first half of 2022 will be as follows:
- OCCTH 527, Level 3a (Year 3 students): September 7 – October 22, 2021
- OCCTH 528, Level 3b/FINAL (Year 3 students): November 1 – December 17, 2021
- OCCTH 525, Level 1 (Year 2 students) POSTPONED TO: January 10 – February 25, 2022
- OCCTH 525, Level 1 (Year 1 students): May 16 – June 30 2022
OCCTH 527 is currently underway. OCCTH 528 is organized and confirmed, despite recent outbreaks, redeployments and cancellations.
We are now focused on recruiting placement offers for OCCTH 525 to occur early in the new year.
We recognize that each site continues to have their own realities, challenges and protocols/procedures in relation to this pandemic. The safety of therapists and students and the safety of clients served by occupational therapy continues to be our top priority.
If you are willing and able to continue to support fieldwork placements at this point in the pandemic, please contact the Department of OT:
We are very grateful for your ongoing support of our MScOT program and our students!