COVID-19 updates and resources for occupational therapists

The continued spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Canada and around the world will have impacts on occupational therapy practice and study. CAOT is continuing to closely monitor this fluid situation, and has compiled resources to support you during this time. Our top priority as we navigate this pandemic together is the health and safety of occupational therapy practitioners, students, and the clients they serve. We will update this page as information becomes available and will continue to empower you to navigate these unprecedented circumstances.

COVID-19 Exchange Forums: Thursdays at 12:00 ET
CAOT Insurance: Managing practice risk during COVID-19
Telehealth: Practical considerations
Information and resource sharing: Protect yourself and your clients
News from Veterans Affairs Canada
We are working from home
CAOT Conference 2020 is cancelled.  CAOT Virtual 2020 is in development
Upcoming CAOT Workshops have been adapted
Our AGM was held virtually on March 23rd
July sitting of the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam
Contingency plans for Accreditation
British Columbia updates and resources from CAOT-BC
Member Contributions
Global resources from WFOT

COVID-19 Exchange Forums: Thursdays at 12:00 ET

The global spread of COVID-19 has completely disturbed all of our meaningful activities. Occupational therapists in every practice setting are impacted, particularly those in private practice. While some information is readily available by our Canadian and provincial public health agencies, many other variables are unknown. We are offering  Exchange Forums on different themes to better understand the various areas of concern of our members, enable resource sharing, and to start outlining a plan to better support your practice in these uncertain times. This webinar is free for CAOT members. 

For any questions related to the Forums, please contact Julie Lapointe at or Justine Jecker at

Thursday March 26th: Open discussion and resource sharing

Thursday April 2nd:  Practical information for OTs considering telehealth 

CAOT Insurance: Managing practice risk during COVID-19

With the rapidly evolving changes in relation to COVID-19 and its subsequent impacts on the Canadian workforce, many OTs and OTAs are utilizing technology to deliver their professional services, where possible. This resource, COVID-19: Virtual Health Care Services Ensuring Continuity of Care outlines several key considerations, including as it relates to your liability insurance.

Your CAOT Professional Liability Insurance has no restrictions in relation to delivering professional services via telemedicine, as long as you’re working within your scope of practice and reside in Canada.

Our insurance partner, BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd., has reviewed our various insurance policy offerings in relation to COVID-19 and addresses specific aspects of policies including Business Interruption, Commercial General Liability and Professional Liability.

With so many employees working from home, possibly on unsecured Wi-Fi, learn more cybersecurity risk for your business. 

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada, CAOT, in partnership with BMS Group and Gowling WLG, have recorded a webinar providing CAOT members with timely information on insurance considerations of the COVID-19 situation.  Hear from experts on the current environment and realities related to practice during a pandemic in our 50-minute webinar “Current State with COVID-19: Telehealth and Liability & Business Insurance Considerations.”

Disclaimer:  This webinar was recorded Thursday March 26th.  Given the rapid pace of change related to COVID-19, this information is provided solely as a guide, as expert advice may evolve as the situation develops. In all circumstances, members of the occupational therapy profession should consult with a lawyer and/or their insurance company for specific information or guidance related to their specific circumstances.

For questions for BMS Group contact:

For Gowling WLG, contact their hotline at 1-855-783-8825 

Telehealth: Practical considerations

This new CAOT resource provides some considerations for the safe and effective provision of telehealth for occupational therapists in today’s current practice environment.

Information and resource sharing: Protect yourself and your clients

This table compiles resources to support the work of health professionals through the COVID-19 pandemic. CAOT is monitoring the release of resources to the best of its ability. If you are aware of other credible resources to support the work of front line occupational therapists, please do not hesitate to share them with Julie Lapointe at



Government of Canada. (2020). Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): For health professionals.


Ontario Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care. (2020). COVID-19: Guidance for the Health Sector.

College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. (2020). Information on COVID-19.

College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. (2020). Update Regarding Personal Protective Equipment and COVID-19. 


Institut national de santé publique du Québec. (2020). COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec. (2020). Info OEQ: COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) : mise à jour au 16 mars 2020



BC Centre for Disease Control. (2020). Interim Guidance:  Public Health Management of cases and contacts associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community. **See Page 11 and 12.

BC Centre for Disease Control. (2020). Health Care Provider Support.

College of Occupational Therapists of Bristish Columbia. (2020). COVID-19 Updates.


Alberta Health Services. (2020). Information for AHS Staff & Health Professionals novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Alberta College of Occupational Therapists. (2020). OT Practice and COVID-19.


Saskatchewan. (2020). Information for Health Care Providers.


Shared Health Manitoba. (2020). Provincial coronavirus resources for health care providers and staff.

College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba. (2020). A message from COTM Executive Director. March 2020 - A Message about COVID-19.

Nova Scotia

College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia. (2020). COVID-19 – Update from College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia.


Yukon. (2020). Find novel coronavirus information for health professionals.

News from Veterans Affairs Canada

News from OT services insurance providers

What CAOT is doing

We are working from home

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, CAOT has temporarily closed our national and chapter offices until the end of March, with further extension to be determined closer to that date. As we are able to work from home, you can expect that staff will continue to operate and respond to your needs, with some adaptations. Our member service hours remain unchanged.

Contact Us

CAOT Conference 2020 is cancelled.  CAOT Virtual 2020 is in development

Despite our disappointment at not gathering the occupational therapy community together as planned, we are in the process of building an alternate professional development event, CAOT Virtual 2020. We are confident and excited to be moving forward a package of quality online learning opportunities at a favourable price and accessible to many.

Details on CAOT Virtual 2020 

Upcoming CAOT Workshops have been adapted

In light of restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19, we are not running any in-person workshops for the foreseeable future.

We have now sent updates to all of our workshop registrants for workshops scheduled up until April 30, 2020. We will provide similar updates for workshops from May to June in the first week of April.

These workshops will be offered online or postponed to a later date. Updates will be posted to our website and shared via our PD eblasts and OT Weekly as they become available. Please understand that our Professional Development team is receiving a high volume of member inquiries at this point; we will respond to your calls and emails at our earliest possible convenience. Thank you for your understanding. 

Our AGM was held virtually on March 23rd

Thank you to those who participated in the AGM on Monday March 23rd.  A move to dual technical platforms allowed over 200 listeners to receive an association update.  For those not able to attend, a recorded version is available. 

July sitting of the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are aware that some students' university program completion may be delayed.  We will send out communication to programs and students if there are any changes to the exam. At this time, registration is open.

Contingency plans for Accreditation

The Academic Credentialing Council held an urgent meeting regarding COVID 19 issues.  A letter was drafted and sent to the program directors of each University occupational therapy department.. We will keep you informed of any developments. 


  • CAOT has requested that the federal government quickly announce student grants to enable planning into the summer and fall for completion of professional education. Letter to Minister Qualtrough.
  • CAOT has joined members of the Canadian Society for Association Executives (CSAE) in requesting that the federal government allocate a portion of the recently announced fiscal support to address business impacts to the not-for-profit sector. Letter to Minister Morneau.
  • The Health Action Lobby (HEAL), of which CAOT is a member, has offered to assist with the federal COVID-19 response by conducting a COVID-19 impact survey of HEAL members (40 healthcare organizations) and forming a special COVID-19 Response Task Force: 

Member Contributions 

We have received several contributions from our members who would like to share their reflections, tips, and expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic and have compiled them here for you. If you have created resources that you would like to share, please send them to us at for consideration.

Global resources from WFOT

WFOT has established a dedicated online platform to support requests to network, share and develop resources regarding the impact of COVID-19 and its relevance to the occupational therapy profession. The forum is available on the Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION) which can be accessed via this link  

WFOT has also prepared a summarised version of this for consumers/general public about occupational therapy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

WFOT has additional resources to assist occupational therapists and others providing services during this pandemic. The following are available from the WFOT Resources:

Position Statement: Occupational Therapy in Disaster Risk Reduction

Position Statement: Occupational Therapy in Disaster Preparedness and Response

Publication: WFOT Guide for Occupational Therapy First Responders to Disasters and Trauma 

Online Forum: OTION COVID-19​ 

Online Learning Module: Disaster Management for Occupational Therapists

Endorsed Publication: Early Rehabilitation in Conflicts and Disasters

Endorsed Publication: Responding internationally to disasters

Endorsed Publication: Disaster and Development: an Occupational Therapy Perspective

A full list of Position Statements is available via this link - consider Rehabilitation, Human Displacement, Assistive technology, Telehealth, Mental Health and others.


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