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Sault health-care providers tackle reopening with caution
SAULT STE. MARIE -- Some health-care providers are officially allowed to reopen in the Sault, but say they're proceeding with caution.
Last week, the Ontario government announced it would allow some offices to reopen, as part of an order from the province's chief medical officer of health.
Chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists, optometrists and dentists are just some of the practitioners included on that list.
"Anything with COVID, there's a lot of unknowns," said Dr. Mark Robertson, Owner of Northern Vision Care.
"With that, we anticipate that if we take things gradual, we'll be able to provide the best care for patients safely."
Dr. Robertson says he'll have a soft reopening of Northern Vision Care on Monday.
"For the most part, you'll be able to get the essential eye care you need," he said.
"There are a few things we won't able to do however, due to transmission concerns."
For example, Dr. Robertson says you won't be able to get outfitted for new contact lenses, due to the possibility of COVID-19 transmitting through eye contact.
"We won't be able to properly teach someone how to put those lenses in and out," he added.
"There's also a few instruments we can't use, because they were never designed to be fully disinfected, which will make things a little more awkward for us."
Directly across from Northern Vision Care, sits Northern Chiropractic & Physiotherapy in the same parking lot.
It will also begin taking in patients Monday, but at a reduced amount.
"That's definitely going to be our biggest concern," said Matthew Chlebus, co-owner.
"We want people to show up five minutes before their visits, remain in their cars until they've been given the ok."
If you're late, Chlebus says there is a chance you may not get in.
"We need to meet a certain schedule to keep up with safety precautions," he said.
"It's crucial people show up on time."
Chlebus says he understands physical distancing will be difficult, given the nature of the tasks performed by chiropractors and physiotherapists.
"So when the services we provide can't be done over the phone or online, that's when we'll be able to bring people in," he said.
"We've also limited each practitioner to one treatment room, rather than switching them up."
Both Chlebus and Dr. Robertson are asking patients to call ahead in order to book any appointments at their offices.