ADVOCATE FOR MASSAGE THERAPY AS A RECOGNIZED & RESPECTED HEALTHCARE PROFESSION
From: Maxey, Megan (DOH) <Megan.Maxey@doh.wa.gov>
Date: Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 1:32 PM
Subject: Current guidance from DOH for LMTs
To: Berney, Marybeth
Gov. Jay Inslee has issued proclamation 20-25, which restricts many businesses from operating until midnight on April 6, 2020. The proclamation permits “essential critical infrastructure workers” to continue operations in essential critical infrastructure sectors. Health care providers are included in the definition of essential critical infrastructure workers.
At this time, it is up to the professional judgement of each licensed massage therapist (LMT), to determine if his or her practice qualifies as an essential health care service. Proclamation 20-25 permits LMTs who provide health care services to continue operations with social distancing between patients and sanitation measures in place. However the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 within a massage practice is real and should be weighed by LMTs when deciding what services to continue.
The CDC has many resources available about actions to take within a health care setting to reduce risk from COVID-19. There is no procedure to eliminate the possibility of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 without the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We currently have a nationwide shortage of PPE.
Please use your professional judgement to reschedule appointments that are not urgent. Consider whether the risk of harm to the patient for delaying massage treatment outweighs the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and possibly contributing to community spread of the virus. Health experts are concerned that increasing transmission in our state and an increase in severe disease will limit the ability of our healthcare system to provide urgent care to all who require it.
Additional information is available from these sources:
DOH Workplace Recommendations DOH Coronavirus (COVID-19) Web Page
CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Web Page CDC Practice Preparedness Resources
Board of Massage
Animal Massage Program
Nursing Pool Program
Health Systems Quality Assurance
Washington State Department of Health
PO Box 47852
Olympia, WA 98504-7852
360-236-4945 (phone) | www.doh.wa.gov
Please refer to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage for continuously updated information.
Due to the COVID-19, we are having an increased volume of emails and phone messages and there may be a delay in our response time. Thank you for your patience.
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Advocate for Massage Therapy as a Recognized & Respected Healthcare Profession