One of the most difficult things we are dealing with COVID-19 is the uncertainty of the situation- uncertainty because the virus is new and much is unknown about it, because we don't have sufficient testing - and the questions stemming from that uncertainty that do not have clear answers. How long will it last? How contagious is COVID-19? How can we stay safe?
My practice follows Practice Guidelines recommended by the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) along with infection control recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. I made these changes to help protect my clients and myself. For example:
1. I will communicate with you beforehand to obtain updates to your health information and ask you specifically about your potential exposure to COVID-19.
2. I will greet you at the door and use a no touch thermal temperature screening to confirm that you don’t have a fever.
3. I’ll ask you if you have developed any symptoms of illness since we spoke on the phone. If you feel ill on the day of your session, there is no penalty for canceling your appointment. Massage is not advised if you have any symptoms of illness.
4. Please bring a face mask to use while you are in the building, and during your massage. During the session: Prone positions (face down) could be uncomfortable for clients who are wearing face coverings and for this reason you will not be required to wear a face mask at this time. When switching from prone to supine (face up) position I will then ask you to put your face covering on.
5. I will ask you to sign an informed consent form that states, “I understand that close contact with people increases the risk of infection from COVID-19. By signing this form, I acknowledge that I am aware of the risks involved and give consent to receive massage from this practitioner.”
6. You will also find hand sanitizer in the office for you to use as needed.
For guidance, I have consulted the following websites to determine guidelines, requirements and recommendations for the re-opening of Therapeutic Massage in Joplin.
I have processed a dizzying amount of information.
The health and safety of my clients is very important to me.
This is a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.
Places with declining infections and strong testing would begin a three-phase gradual reopening of businesses and schools.
In phase one, for instance, the plan recommends strict social distancing for all people in public. Gatherings larger than 10 people are to be avoided and nonessential travel is discouraged.
In phase two, people are encouraged to maximize social distancing and limit gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are taken. Travel could resume.
Phase three envisions a return to normalcy for most Americans, with a focus on identification and isolation of any new infections.
In Phase three VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.
1. Elderly individuals -age 65 is considered an elderly individual.
2. Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.
The guidelines also include general recommendations for businesses as they plan for potential re-openings.
The plan calls for temperature-taking for screening purposes, rapid COVID-19 testing and widespread disinfection efforts in workplaces.
Michael L. Parson, Governor of the State of Missouri
Executive order dated May 4th, Declares a state of emergency throughout the State of Missouri extending until June 15, 2020, unless extended in whole or part. To read in full please click on the link below
We also have the Show Me Strong Recovery Order from the Missouri Department Of Health and Senior Services, dated April 27, 2020
#2 applies to Personal Services which include Massage Therapy:
In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every person and business in the State of Missouri shall abide by social distancing requirements, including maintaining six feet (6’) of space between individuals.
This provision shall not apply to family members or individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people closer than six feet(6’).
Individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people closer than six feet (6’) should take enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
This provision shall apply in all situations, including, but not limited to, when customers are standing in line or individuals are using shared indoor or outdoor spaces.
Please click on the link below to read these guidelines in full.
To see the Reopening plan for the City of Joplin in full please click on the link below.
Update: June 2, 2020
As of June 2, 2020, the City of Joplin is in “Phase 2 – Step 2” of the Joplin Plan for Response and Recovery. During this phase, we are taking steps to reopen and recover, while still practicing various measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
All of us are familiar with social distancing from Phase 1 and will need to continue this practice throughout this entire plan. As Joplin’s Public Health Department continues its work with our healthcare partners and hospitals, the success of completing the steps in “Phase 2 – Recovery” is the responsibility of each individual, business and organization.
May 3, 2020:
The Stay At Home Order expired May 3, and the community will move into Phase 2, noted as the RECOVERY phase following the first phase that emphasized slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Massage Therapy is covered under Personal Services.
Personal Services: all barbers, cosmetologists, massage therapists, practitioners of tattooing, body piercing, and branding, tanning salons, and other providers of personal services can be reopened but are restricted to 25% of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy. All businesses must continue to apply physical distancing strategies in all facilities. When possible, operations should be conducted remotely. Additionally, barbers, cosmetologists, massage therapists, practitioners of tattooing, body piercing, and branding, and other providers of personal services must comply with the attached requirements for reopening personal services, attached hereto as Exhibit C
City of Joplin in Exhibit C recommends:
Item #2 The business shall not allow any non-employee who presents any symptom of COVID-19 to enter the premises. Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to fever (100.4 or more), cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. The business shall screen each non-employee prior to entering the premises. Any non-employee who presents any symptoms of COVID-19 shall be denied entry to the premises.
Item # 9 Recommends that individuals over the age of 60 and individuals who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions not enter the premises.
To see Exhibit C in full please click on this link. Exhibit C
Please remember that our state and city laws are requirements that must be adhered to. We also have guidelines and recommendations to consider. I appreciate your patience as we navigate this New Normal for massage therapy.
To address asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, implement source control for everyone entering a healthcare facility (e.g., healthcare personnel, patients, visitors), regardless of symptoms.
I look forward to seeing you again and am happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps I take to keep you, and every client, safe in my practice. Thank you for being my client. I value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back to a safe, therapeutic touch environment.
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