Client and Practitioner COVID Policies
Many of my clients come in with medical vulnerabilities. Some cancer treatments weaken immunity. Some people are already dealing with cancer symptoms and side effects, and COVID risk makes everything harder.
Some clients are caring for vulnerable people at home, or working demanding healthcare jobs in exhausting circumstances.
All need a safe, healthy space to rest, recharge, and get help with symptoms. Good COVID mitigations make it as healthy and safe as possible.
How I Reduce COVID Risk
I wear a mask.
I wear a well-fitting, high-filtration mask (N95) in the building and during the session, fully covering my nose, mouth, and chin. (Outside of my work, I unmask only in my house, and outside in uncrowded spaces. Takeout, no indoor dining.)
The room is ventilated. Air is filtered.
Between sessions I open windows and exhaust with a window fan while I wipe down surfaces. When temperatures permit, windows are open slightly during the session. In the room, a high-capacity filter runs throughout the session. The building HVAC is fitted with MERV-13 filters.
I am vaxed and double-boosted against COVID-19.
I test and self-monitor.
Typically I test for COVID twice a week. I am alert for COVID symptoms. If I develop symptoms, I either reschedule our session or test to distinguish between my occasional allergies and COVID before I work.
How Clients Reduce COVID Risk
Mask in the building.
At all times in the building and during the session, clients wear a well-fitting, high-filtration (KN95 or better) mask. The mask fully covers nose, mouth, and chin without having to be regularly adjusted.
Maintain COVID vaccines and boosters.
Clients in this practice are vaccinated and boosted as recommended for them by CDC schedule.
Please test using a home rapid antigen COVID test the morning of your session IF...
* You have spent any time in the prior 6 days unmasked, indoors, outside your household, or
* You have spent any time in the previous 6 days unmasked, indoors, with people who do not live with you, or
* You have been unmasked in crowded outdoor settings in the 6 days prior.
Examples. Test on the morning of your session if, in the past 6 days:
* You have dined indoors at a restaurant, indoor party, staff room, or a friend's home.
* You have unmasked, even briefly, in another indoor setting (e.g., rideshare, bus, stairwell, airplane, office, gym, store, house of worship, friend's home, etc.).
* You've had visitors in your home, and you were unmasked.
* You attended an outdoor wedding and did not wear a mask under the tent.
* You attended a Red Sox game unmasked.
* You have worn a mask kinda sorta, exposing your nose, in any of these situations. (It happens!)
Why test today, after these scenarios in the past 6 days?
Masks and mandates are being lifted, making all of us are more vulnerable to COVID exposure. Many people are gathering again after COVID isolation, and many have resumed unmasked activities in shared indoor spaces--both public places and with people from outside their household.
COVID is airborne. Good masks, worn correctly, greatly reduce risk in all these settings:
* Transmission can occur in shared indoor settings with people from outside the home.
* Coronavirus can linger in the air and transmit after it has been exhaled. Two people don't even have to occupy the same space at the same moment for it to transmit. Transmission can occur after an infected person has left the room.
* Although less often than indoors, COVID can also transmit outdoors in crowded, especially "elbow-to-elbow" settings such as ball games, parties, and concerts.
If you have been unmasked in any of these situations in the 6 days prior to your massage therapy session, chances are you can still keep your appointment and get a massage!
Just take a home rapid antigen COVID test the morning of your session. If negative, we go ahead! If positive, we will reschedule your session at no charge.
Why 6 days? Why a rapid test and not a PCR?
After COVID exposure, 6 days is typically enough time to show symptoms, test, and isolate if needed.
A rapid test is a good gauge of COVID infectiousness, an important factor in a close-contact massage therapy setting. PCRs typically come with a time-lag to results.
This measure is not meant to worry anyone, nor pass judgment on behavior. It is for peace-of-mind. When we all minimize risk to be in the building, everyone can relax more deeply in the massage therapy space.
Complete a COVID pre-screen before every session.
In the 24 hours before your appointment, you will receive a brief pre-screening checklist asking you about any COVID symptoms, possible exposure, and any test results.
The checklist also asks you to ask yourself if you've participated, unmasked, in any indoor activities in the 6 days prior. If your answer is yes, then do a home rapid antigen test. If you have questions, contact me.
Why so cautious?
Many clients are going through a great deal health-wise, and need an extra-protected space. I'm cautious after a past life working at lab benches with viruses and cells, and because of aerosol scientists and public health professionals whose current work I follow.
My clients tell me they are living carefully during COVID. You are a good match for this practice if you are, as well: Masking most of the time when in shared spaces outside the household, monitoring symptoms, testing for COVID as needed, minimizing indoor dining, and being vaccinated and boosted.
If this does not describe you, then--for now, at least--my practice is not a good fit.
Updated June 13, 2022.