As New York City approaches re-opening after the pandemic lockdown, the CDC and local governments have clearly outlined safety guidelines for practices like mine. Many of you are eager to start treatment again and have expressed concern over how the office will be safe in these unprecedented times. I do not yet have a re-open date, but I hope for the end of the month. This newsletter describes the protocols to help clarify what must be done before,during, and after each appointment and to explain the way things will change going forward.
I am available for Telehealth visits, which are virtual visits that we can do through a videochat platform. If you need a consultation with me for any reason, or if you have a lot to review before your next session, you are welcome to request this and we will set up a virtual visit to thoroughly discuss it all. I am not seeing any active Covid-19 cases or suspected cases, as I am not equipped to manage those, although recovered patients are welcome. I know those who have been ill with coronavirus may have lingering fatigue or breathing issues, and acupuncture can help these symptoms.
Once I officially re-open, you can make an appointment on any of the designated days and we will set up a time that works for you. You can book an appointment just as before, by calling me at 212-868-0145, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No appointments will overlap for now. Each patient will be the only person allowed at the designated time, for a set duration. Unfortunately, you cannot have friends or family accompany you, unless you have a disability that necessitates it.
Special consent forms are now required and the day prior to your appointment, I will contact you to screen you and send you the form. Anyone high risk for Covid-19 (with new symptoms, recently exposed, travelled to high risk areas, etc.) will have to reschedule for a later date. If you forget to bring the consent form with you to the appointment, I will ask you to fill it out in the waiting area before entering. Here is what the form looks like,please feel free to download and print for future use:
At Appointment Time
When you arrive for your appointment, you must wear a mask and use hand sanitizer (available in the waiting area). Payments must be made prior to entry, preferably electronically through VenMo or PayPal, or over the phone.Future appointments may be scheduled at this time or through email later on. I will take your temperature with a forehead thermometer. I will then lead you to the treatment room and you may remove your mask if you lie in prone position on the table (face down). If you lie supine (face up), you are required to keep the mask on. I will wear gloves whenever treating you, whether needling,cupping, or doing bodywork. My mask and lab coat will remain on me all day. The office building bathrooms will be sanitized and disinfected in accordance with New York City’s current guidelines.
Sanitizing Procedures Pre and Post Appointments
The waiting and treatment rooms will be outfitted with hand sanitizers and the tables and face rests will be shielded with special protective coverings which will be disinfected after each use with hospital grade germicide. Bolsters,light switches, credit card machine, and doorknobs and all surfaces will likewise be disinfected. Disposable pillowcases will be discarded, and linens laundered after each use. A log of these procedures will be documented for record keeping.
The takeaway: you must fill out a new consent form,arrive for the appointment with a mask, and pay electronically. I will take care of everything else!