With the recent updates of executive orders by the Governor and extensions of Stay at Home orders by counties, we are planning a soft reopening starting May 12th, 2020.
However, because the acupuncture clinic is considered a medical office, we will have to put various new procedures and safeguards in place to make sure that everyone is safe and that we can continue to provide services. Additionally, as part of the executive order regarding elective medical procedures, which acupuncture falls under, if there is an increase in cases around the state, I will have to comply and re-close the office if ordered by a state or county agency.
First of all, we will be required to pre-screen all patients 24 hours before their appointment for any symptoms or potential exposure to anyone with the COVID-19. These symptoms include a fever, dry or non-productive cough, shortness of breath and in some cases diarrhea. If you are experiencing these symptoms or have potentially been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, we will have to ask you to cancel or reschedule your appointment until you are feeling better or there is no risk of infection. Additionally, when you get to the office, we are required to take a temperature, re-screen for any symptoms, and keep a log of who has come into the office.
Next, everyone, including myself, will be required to wear a mask during the appointment. A cloth mask is fine. However, this may limit some treatment options as those patients who utilize face down treatments may be uncomfortable in a mask, face down in the face cradle. I am working to acquire face masks for those who come to the office without one. I am required to wear gloves during the entire treatment procedure, and this may affect things like Tui Na massage.
Finally, we will have to move immediately from screening to the treatment room to minimize exposure to the rest of the office. This mainly affects new patients who need to fill out initial paperwork. You will have to bring in your signed and filled out initial paperwork with you. If you come without your paperwork, I cannot provide a space for you to fill it out in the office, and we will need to reschedule your appointment. I am working to make my initial paperwork into fillable PDF forms that can accept electronic signatures, but this is also dependent on whether I can do this in a HIPAA compliant way.
In addition to these procedures, we are working to get all necessary cleaning, sanitization, and PPE supplies in stock to ensure a sustainable supply. The initial opening date itself is dependent on whether I can acquire these supplies on time. These are currently in short supply around the nation, and if I cannot get what I need to keep everyone safe and the office clean, then I will have to push back the opening date.
I will also have to limit the amount of patients to one patient in the office at any given time, which may affect how many people I can see and give treatment to. I may have to contact you to adjust your appointment time to make sure treatments are spaced out.
I know this is a lot of change, and a lot of dependency on supply chain, but please rest assured that I am doing everything I can to make sure everyone is safe, the office is clean and compliant, and that I can continue to provide treatment.
I am still available to provide herbal consultations over the phone through tele-health if you are not comfortable coming into the office.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, I will post any changes or updates as they happen.
Thank You All for your support and patience, I truly hope all of you and your families are doing well during this trying time. I am looking forward to getting back into the office and seeing you again!