Questions and Answers for Members of the Public regarding care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We will continue to add/amend to these questions and answers as matters change.

Click here if you are a Chiropodist/Podiatrists with questions about your practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic

New Procedures for Visiting your Chiropodist & Podiatrist during COVID-19

I have a foot problem; can I see my chiropodist/podiatrist for foot care?

If you have concerns with your foot health and would like to see your chiropodist/podiatrist, you should contact them at their office. With the current restrictions and directives in place from the Government, chiropodists/podiatrists can only treat patients and conditions that are deemed “essential”. If your care is determined to be “essential” by the practitioner’s clinical judgement, and they meet all the necessary requirements set out the College and the Government, then they may be able to see you.

I know my Chiropodist’s/Podiatrist’s office is closed. Can they come to my senior’s residence or long-term care facility?

No, your Chiropodist/Podiatrist should not come to your home, senior’s residence or long-term care facility (LTCF’s) to provide you with care. If you believe the care that you require is essential, contact your Chiropodist/Podiatrist by phone for advice on what to do.

COCOO strongly advises members against treating patients within their LTCF’s. Members and patients should be fully aware of all the implications and responsibilities of providing care in long term care facilities and the potential risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Members must be fully aware of all policies for individual LTCF’s as well as directives from Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Health (MOH) the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario and relevant Standards of Practice of the College of Chiropodists.

I know my Chiropodist’s/Podiatrist’s office is closed. Can they come to my home?

No, your Chiropodist/Podiatrist should not come to your home, to provide you with care. If you believe the care you require is essential, contact your Chiropodist/Podiatrist by phone for advice on what to do.

COCOO strongly advises members against providing in-home care for patients. Members and patients should be fully aware of all the implications and responsibilities of providing in-home care and the potential risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19. In addition, members must be fully aware of all policy directives relating to COVID-19 from Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Health (MOH) the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario (CMOH) and relevant Standards of Practice of the College of Chiropodists.

What precautions are my Chiropodist/Podiatrist taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Some Chiropodists/Podiatrists have made the difficult decision to close their offices completely in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Other offices are equipped to provide essential care to patients. Chiropodists/Podiatrists have directions from the College of Chiropodists of Ontario as to the protective measures they should be implementing at this moment in time to treat patients with essential care in a safe environment. You can reasonably expect phone screening, locked doors, guidelines for entry and exit and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by practitioners and staff.

Please call the office, before attending. The office staff will guide you through the steps that need to be taken and what you need to know before attending.

What if I have an urgent foot health emergency?

If you have an urgent foot health condition, you should contact your Chiropodist/Podiatrist and they will direct you accordingly. It is best if you contact your Chiropodist/Podiatrist in the manner they have suggested (phone, email, etc.) and they will do their best to guide you with their advice. 

What is an Urgent foot health problem?

An urgent foot health problem may include but is not limited to sudden onset of pain, increasing signs of infection (redness, swelling, pus, pain), and diabetic foot changes. We do not expect patients to determine for themselves whether they have an urgent foot health problem. Therefore, if you have a concern that you feel is of an urgent nature to your foot health, you should contact your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for advice.

Not sure how you want to tackle this one since more offices might open now that “urgent” is lifted?

Some clinics in Ontario are accepting urgent visits. The College has developed a list of practitioners who are open for urgent matters. It is imperative to note in these circumstances that there will be strict screening measures in place, and you should expect that the practitioner and office staff will be utilizing strict Personal Protective Equipment and Infection Control Measures.

I have been screened by a Chiropodist/Podiatrist for a visit and I am booked to see them tomorrow. Do I have to take special precautions to see my Chiropodist/Podiatrist? i.e. Do I need to wear a mask?

The College has advised all chiropodists/podiatrists to practice “universal masking”. This means that all patients, if tolerated, must wear some form of facial covering (for example, home-made cloth masks, bandana, surgical/medical masks). Should you arrive to the clinic/office without and facial covering, and your chiropodist/podiatrist cannot offer you a mask, they may refuse care. Please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before you leave your home and upon arrival back home.

What if I am in some pain but don’t think my problem is urgent right now, although I fear it might be one if I don’t see my Chiropodist/Podiatrist?

We can understand that you may be experiencing fear about your foot health concerns and what it may look like in a few days or weeks. We would strongly encourage you to reach out to your practitioner. Give them a call. Most Chiropodists/Podiatrists can consult with you over the phone and assist you in assessing your current situation.

I need a new prescription or a prescription refilled. Can my Chiropodist/Podiatrist help me?

Yes, most likely. Please contact your practitioner. Chiropodists/Podiatrists may call a prescription into a pharmacy, if they deem it appropriate in the situation. Please have your pharmacy’s name and phone number ready so your practitioner may contact your Pharmacy with your prescription details.

How long is it going to be until I can see my Chiropodist/Podiatrist again?

We understand that you have uncertainty as to when you will be able to see your Chiropodist/Podiatrist again. Rest assured, they want to see and help you too! It is difficult to give a precise answer to this question. Under the current directives and restrictions from the Government, chiropodists/podiatrists can only provide “essential care” to patients. If you have an urgent foot concern or if you think the care you require is essential, contact your chiropodist/podiatrist for more information and direction. While it is a difficult decision for the College and the Members, your chiropodist/podiatrist will not be providing non-essential care at this point in time.   

I’d like to pick up my orthotics. I was scheduled to have them fitted to my feet and my appointment was cancelled due to COVID-19. Couldn’t I pick them up outside the door or have them shipped to me?

Custom made foot orthoses (orthotics) are a medical device. As such, Chiropodists/Podiatrists must follow certain standards of practice with regards to those devices. This includes the necessity to fit the devices directly to your feet and into your shoes. Under the current directives and restrictions from the Government, Chiropodists/Podiatrists can only provide what they determine as “essential care”. For more information, you should contact your Chiropodist/Podiatrist. They may or may not be able to see you and dispense your orthotics, depending on whether they deem this an “essential” service or are able to adhere to all the guidelines set out by the College and the Government.