In order to keep everyone as safe as possible all therapists have received infection prevention training. The following procedures have been implemented:
* If you have a fever, a cold, cold symptoms, respiratory difficulty including coughing, have been exposed to someone with any of these symptoms, anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or traveled out of the country within the last two weeks; please wait two weeks before scheduling an appointment or reschedule your existing appointment.
* New clients will complete the intake and consent forms as done previously. All clients; will be asked to complete a health addendum.
* The temperature of each therapist is taken before each work day begins. If there is a fever (temperature over 100 degrees), cough or any cold related symptoms; the appointments for that therapist will be canceled and/or rescheduled immediately.
* While moving around the building, clients are encouraged to wear face masks but it is not mandatory. The therapist will have a mask on during all interaction outside of the treatment room. In the treatment room you and the therapist will discuss your comfort level and whether the mask stays on or not will be determined at that time.
* The treatment room is disinfected and where possible; sterilized after each client. Sterilizing kills all bio-organisms. It is a higher degree of cleaning than disinfecting. All hard surfaces will be sterilized including inside/outside door knob handles. As always, the sheets and face cradle cover is changed after each client. Soft surfaces will be disinfected; these include the massage table, face cradle and chairs.
* The break between appointments will increase from 15 to 30 minutes to decrease the likelihood of clients over lapping. This time will also be used to clean the treatment room as described above.
* The chairs in the waiting area are 6 feet apart.
* The bathrooms are down the hall from the waiting area. The best procedure to minimize exposure to all germs is hand washing! You are encouraged to wash your hands before and after your appointment.
* Essential oil infused hand sanitizer will be available in the treatment room.
* Gloves are not mandatory. The therapist will not be wearing gloves.
* The treatment room has an air freshener to quickly reduce the chemicals used in the sterilizing/disinfecting process as well as improving the scent in the air.
Below are important links from government agencies on best practices for public social distancing
NC massage board: https://www.bmbt.org/mtpages/news.html
On May 20, 2020, Governor Cooper issued EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 141 which provides for Phase 2 of easing restrictions on travel, business operations and mass gatherings in North Carolina.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 141 provides in Section 6 D that certain businesses, including massage therapists and establishments that provide massage, may operate so long as they are in compliance with the following requirements:
Limit customers inside the establishment to Emergency Maximum Occupancy. Under this Executive Order, the Emergency Maximum Occupancy for a massage therapist and establishments that provide massage is the lowest number produced by applying the following two tests: 1. Limit the number of customers in the store to fifty percent (50%) of stated fire capacity (or, for spaces without a stated fire capacity, no more than twelve (12) customers for every one thousand (1000) square feet of the location's total square footage, including the parts of the location that are not accessible to customers or guests). Limit the number of people in the store so that clients can stay six (6) feet apart.
Arrange seating so that groups of clients are separated from one another by six (6) feet. Massage therapists and workers shall wear Face Coverings when they are within six (6) feet of another person. "Face Covering" means a covering of the nose and mouth by wearing a covering or mask for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others as defined in Session Law 2020-3 s. 4.3(a). In the context of the COVID-1 9 emergency, the Face Covering works to protect other people more than the wearer.
. Notwithstanding this general requirement, people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a Face Covering, people who cannot wear a Face Covering due to a medical or behavioral condition, and people who are under twelve (12) years of age are excepted from the requirement to wear a Face Covering. Children under two (2) years of age shall not wear a Face Covering so that their breathing may not be inhibited.
Follow the Core Signage, Screening, and Sanitation Requirements as defined in this Executive Order, except for the requirement to have signage remind people about staying six (6) feet apart. The Core Signage, Screening, and Sanitation Requirements which massage therapists and establishments that provide massage therapy must follow are:
Post the Emergency Maximum Occupancy in a noticeable place.
Post signage reminding clients and workers about social distancing (staying at least six (6) feet away from others) and requesting that people who have been symptomatic with fever and/or cough not enter.
Conduct daily symptom screening of workers, using a standard interview questionnaire of symptoms, before workers enter the workplace.
Immediately isolate and remove sick workers.
Perform frequent and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas with an EPA-approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
For reference, NCDHHS has prepared sample signs and a sample screening checklist questionnaire, available at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance, that may be used to meet some of the requirements above. Businesses or operations do not need to use the NCDHHS sample signs and questionnaires to meet the requirements of Executive Order 141.
Ensure that all equipment that comes into direct personal contact with clients and all furniture in service areas is completely cleaned and disinfected between each customer.
Mark six (6) feet of spacing in lines at point of sale and in other high-traffic areas for clients, such as at cash registers and waiting areas.
EO 141 also recommends that clients of massage therapists and massage establishments are strongly encouraged to wear Face Coverings when they are within six (6) feet of another person, unless they cannot wear Face Coverings due to religious beliefs, age, or a medical or behavioral health condition.
Governor Cooper’s EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 141 is effective at 5:00 pm on May 22, 2020 and shall remain in effect through 5:00 pm on June 26, 2020 unless repealed, replaced, or rescinded by another applicable Executive Order.
It is up to massage therapists and establishments that provide massage therapy services to comply with Governor Cooper’s Executive Orders, as well as any order or directive from local governments that are more strict. Massage therapists and establishments that provide massage therapy services should take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of their workers and clients. Massage therapists and establishments that provide massage therapy services may open and practice but are not required to open and practice and should not open and practice if they cannot reasonably assure their safety and the safety of their workers and clients.
Once the Governor acts on future phases, the Board will provide more information on how those phases and restrictions will affect massage and bodywork therapy establishments and massage and bodywork therapists returning to practice.