Covid-19 Reopen Guide for Bodywork
Below you’ll find our in depth protocol for operating massage and bodywork appointments from the shop in the wake of the Covid-19 shutdown.
We know you’re all clambering to get back on the table, but we wanted to wait to reopen until we were 100% sure we were doing everything in our power to keep clients, customers, and staff safe. This guide was put together with information and suggestions from documents provided by the State of New Hampshire Massage Licensing board, the CDC recommendations, and guidelines from the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals insurance and membership organization.
We’ve taken the time to read all the science, follow all the requirements, and put together a plan for you that goes above and beyond what the state is requiring. Most of this will be taken care of by your therapist, and your job (mostly) remains the same: show up, relax, and let us take care of you.
This guide will be available on the website and also in the room, should you ever need to refer to it in the future.
Bodywork & Healing Room
Please review this document in its entirety and direct any questions to your therapist, practitioner, or shop management. The following guidelines have been composed of official recommendations from the State of New Hampshire “Stay At Home 2.0 Reopen Guidelines”, the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the official organization of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP).
Questions, comments, and concerns can be addressed by contacting the therapist, practitioner, or shop owner.
Treatment Room Readiness
A copy of this document, in addition to the State of NH “Stay At Home 2.0 Universal Guidelines”, “Stay At Home 2.0 Massage Reopen Guidelines”, and the CDC’s “Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Facility” documents, will be available in the treatment room at all times for reference by practitioners and clients.
Tools and equipment will be removed from the immediate treatment area or closed up in containers to minimize contamination. Tools and add-ons are still available per request.
Product testers will be removed from the immediate treatment area. Clients will refer to new signage describing products available and must request to sample and use.
Refreshment table will be temporarily dismantled. Bottled water is available by request.
Fabric and/or porous furniture that cannot be laundered will be replaced by hard surfaces.
Wastepaper basket will be replaced with a lidded trash can to keep facial tissues and other waste from remaining exposed to treatment room air.
The immediate treatment area will be equipped with salt lamps and air purifiers to improve air quality and circulation.
Blankets will be removed from the massage table; an extra sheet is available on request for warmth and modesty.
Your therapist or practitioner will wear a mask the entire time you are in your session.
Your therapist or practitioner will also record their own temperature and fill out the Health Screening form each morning before the shift starts. This will be kept on file in case any client requests verification.
Signage will be available around the treatment room with guidelines for hand washing, hand sanitizer use, mask use, and what to do during your session.
Treatment room will receive a deep clean each morning and between each client. (See Post-Session Protocols for exact cleaning and disinfecting routine)
At the end of the day, in addition to the Room Turnover Sanitization Protocol, the therapist or practitioner will:
Seal the laundry bag and remove from the room. Laundry basket will be cleaned and disinfected and a new bag will be inserted.
Wash and disinfect ALL tools, regardless of whether or not they were used.
Clean and disinfect ALL surfaces, regardless of whether or not they were touched.
Empty trash can and wipe down inside and out.
Vacuum the floor.
Revised Cancellation Policy
Due to the current public health crisis, and to encourage clients to reschedule if they are feeling ill, all penalties for late cancellations will be temporarily suspended. No shows will still be handled according to pre-existing policy. Please contact your therapist or practitioner as soon as you begin to feel ill so we may reschedule you without penalty.
Clients will receive a reminder call the day before the appointment, to ask related health questions and remind clients of new health protocols.
The questions being asked in your day-before reminder/screening call are:
Have you had a fever in the last 24 hours of 100.4°F or above?
Do you now, or have you recently had, any respiratory or flu symptoms, sore throat, or shortness of breath?
Have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has coronavirus-type symptoms?
Have you traveled in the past 14 days either:
Internationally (outside the US)
By cruise ship, or
Domestically (within the US) outside of NH, VT, or ME on public transportation
If the client must answer Yes to any of these, the appointment will be rescheduled immediately and without penalty.
Clients will be advised of the revised Cancellation Policy (see below) and that there is no penalty if they wake up with cold or flu symptoms and need to cancel on day of, but to still notify the therapist or practitioner as soon as possible.
Clients will also be reminded during the call that masks are mandatory per state guidelines, and considerations will be made for lying face down on the table. If a client does not have a mask, one will be provided for them; if a client refuses a mask, the appointment will need to be postponed indefinitely until the health crisis has passed or the client agrees to wear a mask. The mask protocol is consistent with the CDC’s recommendation to the general public advising them to wear a cloth face covering whenever they must leave their home, and also with the state of NH’s reopening guidelines for massage therapy.
During The Appointment
Clients must leave all personal belongings on the table at the bottom of the stairs, and use hand sanitizer provided before entering the treatment area.
Clients will verify the Covid-19-related questions from the pre screening call on a separate Health Screening form to be filled out upon arrival at appointment. This form will be available at the client table at the bottom of the stairs. We will not be taking temperature on site; please check your temperature prior to coming in for your appointment.
ALL clients will need to fill out a full intake form again (to update client files), with added informed client consent language about the risk of infection from Covid-19 and other illnesses, during their first appointment back post-temporary closure. This is encouraged to be done electronically before the appointment, but the intake form will be available for the client during the appointment.
A hard plastic basket will be provided for clients to store clothing items during massage to reduce contamination risk to soft fabric items like chairs and tablecloths.
The therapist or practitioner will wash hands up to elbows immediately after leaving the treatment room for the client to get on the table.
Clients will be required to keep masks on during the intake and outtake procedures and while face up on the table. Special accommodations (using the face cradle cover) will be made when face down to allow the mask to be removed and potential transmission to remain at a minimum.
Facial massage is temporarily removed from the treatment menu until the health crisis has passed, per state of NH guidelines.
The therapist or practitioner will wash hands up to elbows immediately after leaving the treatment room post-session.
Gloves will be used if the therapist or practitioner needs to handle anything that the client will also be touching/receiving.
Post-session recommendations and rebooking will now be sent via email or follow up phone call (client preference), to minimize time clients remain in the treatment room.
The therapist or practitioner will change shirts and/or smocks in between each client.
If a client begins exhibiting Covid-like symptoms up to fourteen days after their appointment, they will contact the therapist or practitioner immediately. Likewise, if the therapist or practitioner begins exhibiting Covid-like symptoms, they will contact every client seen in the past fourteen days.
Room Turnover Sanitization Protocol:
The therapist or practitioner will use gloves during any sanitization protocol.
Remove all table setup items; fold linens in on themselves and place in lined, lidded hampers positioned outside the treatment space to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus in the air.
Wash all hard/waterproof surfaces with soap and water or other cleaning solution, including intake table, client storage table, massage table, handrails, etc, specifically anything the client came in direct contact with.
Disinfect all hard/waterproof surfaces, including intake table, client storage table, massage table, etc, using hospital strength, CDC-approved disinfectant according to product and CDC guidelines, specifically anything the client came in direct contact with.
Fabric and/or porous furniture that cannot be replaced will be sprayed down with fabric safe disinfectant.
The therapist or practitioner will remove gloves according to CDC guidelines and wash hands immediately before resetting the table and room. Hands will be washed again after resetting the room.
No couples appointments will be scheduled at this time. One client per therapist or practitioner will be allowed in the treatment room.
Clients should notify the therapist or practitioner by phone that they have arrived. DO NOT assume you can enter the shop to wait for your appointment. Someone will meet clients at the door to accompany them to the treatment room or otherwise notify them while on the phone that they are welcome to enter the shop.
House call bodywork appointments and on-site business wellness days will be temporarily suspended until further notice.
In person classes, private parties, and group events will be temporarily suspended until further notice. Virtual events, classes, and consultations can be scheduled by request.
Walk in appointments are not allowed at this time, per state of NH guidelines. All appointments must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.
Sessions will not be extended for late arrival, needing to fill out forms, etc. Sessions are scheduled precisely to allow for adequate sanitization and disinfection between clients.
If any client has any questions or concerns, they agree to reach out to the therapist, practitioner, or shop owner as soon as they arise.