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Is Temperature Taking Still Required and Can Clients Take Off Their Masks When Getting Massage?

8 Dec 2021 10:33 PM | Robbin Blake (Administrator)

1.      Is Temperature Taking Still Required?

Here is the history and the current guidelines for healthcare providers in a healthcare setting:

The requirement for taking temperatures was originally mandated for all healthcare providers in healthcare settings (includes massage regardless of where it is done) on 5/18/20 by the governor in Proclamation 20-24.1 Reducing Restrictions on, and Safe Expansion of, Non-Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-24.1%20-%20COVID-19%20Non-Urgent%20Medical%20Procedures%20Ext%20%28tmp%29.pdf

In this proclamation, it is specifically required in the 5th bullet from the bottom on page 4:

Use on-site fever screening and self-reporting of COVID-19 symptom screening for all patients, visitors and staff prior to (the preferred approach), or immediately upon, entering a facility or practice.

On 11/25/20 the governor updated this proclamation to 20-24.2 Requirements for Non-Urgent Medical and Dental Procedures which you can read at: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/proc_20-24.2.pdf.  This proclamation is still in effect.

Unlike proclamation 20-24.1, 20-24.2 does not specifically call out temperature taking.  Instead, it states at the bottom of page 4:

Follow CDC Guidance on Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, including any subsequent amendments, for COVID-19 symptom screening for all patients, visitors, contractors, volunteers, and staff prior to, or immediately upon, entering a facility or practice.

Temperature taking is a part of COVID-19 symptom screening for all patients, but it's no longer specifically called out, to include on the CDC website.  So either you would need to know that your clients are taking their own temperatures and are truthfully stating that they do or do not have a fever, or you would need to take it as it's the only measurable sign/symptom.

2.      Can Clients Take Their Masks Off When Receiving Massage?

As of 12/8/21 when this article was published, the answer is still no, neither the massage therapist or the client can take off their mask when a massage is being provided unless they qualify for an exemption that is listed in the Secretary of Health’s exemptions which is found in his Order 20-3.6 on mask wearing.

The current mandate requiring mask wearing is the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25.15 which went into effect on 8/23/21.  You can find this at: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25.15%20-%20COVID-19%20Washington%20Ready.pdf

The Secretary of Health’s order on masks 20-03.6 can be found at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/Secretary_of_Health_Order_20-03_Statewide_Face_Coverings.pdf


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