Lift Restrictions on Skin Care Clinics

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The purpose of this Call to Action is to convince the Ontario Government to reconsider its position regarding Level Orange and how it affects the Skin Care industry. 

We ask why is the presumed level of risk associated with one (1) individual seeking treatment, in a strictly-controlled clinical setting that is by appointment only, considered a BIGGER THREAT to the community safety than:

  • 10 persons ‘face coverings required except when exercising’ in a spin class [Yellow]
  • 50 unmasked persons eating and drinking indoors at a random street pub [Orange]
  • 10 unmasked persons eating and drinking indoors at a random street pub [Red]

Our industry wear full PPE (masks, gloves, shields) and work under the auspices of a defined Heightened Infections Protocol (HIP) – one that meets or exceeds the recommendations set out by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario for treating clients who are actually infected with COVID-19!

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Logging of each client and their service
  • Additional time between appointments for sanitization
  • Logging of the sanitation/sterilization during turnover of rooms after each treatment
  • Providing Face masks and shields for service providers, adding other safety measures (ex: closing waiting rooms, additional time between clients for cleaning, hand sanitizing stations
  • Plexiglass at front desk counters
  • Limiting touching of retail centres
  • Covid-19 screening for staff and clients every time they come in
  • Robust PPE for all staff
  • By-appointment only services
  • And many others

Not only did our industry adapt all the restrictions into our already robust protocol measures, but many went above and beyond by following every recommendation as well. Most clinics are working at ⅓ the capacity, which makes it nearly impossible to stay afloat. Another shutdown will likely ensure the demise of many small businesses in our industry, and in turn, their employees and their families will also suffer.

Our industry has always had infection control and sterilization as it’s cornerstones of operation; even before Covid-19. When working with the face, all aestheticians and skin care therapists are trained in sanitation, and many are certified in Work Safety (Bloodborne Pathogens Certification, Workplace Safety Regulations, etc). We are an industry that has been trained to protect our clients, patients and staff from viruses, and other diseases. It is already part of our ideology, considering the scope of our service; skin care. If anyone is equipped to manage this challenge, it is us. We ask for the Honourable Doug Ford to either review our inclusion Level Orange Restrictions or offer our industry some type of evidence-based explanation as to why we have been targeted. Our services are provided by appointment only, one-on-one and with strict measures in place.

All of these measures ensure that clients, staff, and the community at large are safe during this pandemic. The additional measures our industry has put in place during Covid-19 increase cost in the Skin Care industry, with little to no ability to be profitable at this time. We accept our part in the fight against Covid-19 by adapting and making every effort possible to reduce the spread of this virus at our own cost.  By putting these small businesses back in Stage 2, it only heightens the financial burden that our industry has already suffered and without proper explanation or understanding we have to find our voice and request information forthright.

Unlike Ontario, personal services that are done to the face are not restricted to Stage 3 in British Columbia and continue to enjoy safe access to – what is for many who struggle with debilitating skin conditions – an essential service. That’s roughly half a year gone by without a single outbreak or viral event that can be attributed to face treatments in that province vs. half a year mired in a patchwork of lockdowns here. Why is the provincial health authority of British Columbia able to astutely assess the presumed level of risk associated with face treatments in a strictly-controlled clinical setting whereas Ontario cannot?

We are kindly asking Doug Ford, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and local Public Health Units to reconsider Personal Care Services: specifically ‘Skin Care’ from being restricted to perform face care treatments during Level Orange Restrictions. Although we deeply appreciate the Government's efforts in flattening the curve, we do feel that our industry has been disproportionately targeted without evidence as to ‘our impact’ on the spread of Covid-19.  We believe we have the ability to service safely and effectively within the restrictions and recommendations.  We request to be looked at individually as opposed to being grouped with all ‘personal care services’ as a whole.

Thank you,

Skin Clinics in Solidarity