Allow Athletic Therapists to treat their patients

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On Jan 12, 2021, the Alberta government ordered the re-closure of many businesses to slow down the growing cases of COVID-19 infection rates. This closure again included Athletic Therapy Services.

Athletic therapists work in multidisciplinary medical clinics to treat Albertans that have injuries, dysfunction, and pain that prevent them from working, being physically active, and or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Allowing patients to visit their athletic therapist will help them move better, feel better, and live better. 

Athletic Therapy is a Self-Regulated health care profession that is overseen by the Alberta Athletic Therapists Association and the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association. Like Regulated professions (chiropractors, physiotherapists) who are currently allowed to treat their patients, athletic therapists practice identical COVID-19 current safety measures including wearing PPE, sanitizing spaces/equipment, contact tracing, safe distancing, and scheduling to allow for adequate sanitizing and minimal contact in waiting rooms. 

Massage therapists are also Self-Regulated and were approved to start treating patients in late Dec 2020 and early Jan 2021 because they practice safety measures diligently as well. 

Data suggested that the rise in infection rates mostly likely stemmed from social gatherings, and crowded indoor areas (mall, grocery stores, schools). Medical clinics have stricter practices that are monitored and enforced. The likelihood of COVID-19 spreading in a controlled clinic setting is significantly lower. 

Athletic Therapists and their patients are pleading with Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and the Chief Medical Officer Dr Deena Hinshaw to reconsider the blanket restrictions placed upon Athletic Therapists who already practice with the same amount of diligence as regulated professionals and massage therapists. Moving forward, please provide athletic therapists the same consistent restrictions and exemptions as other regulated and self-regulated practitioners.