COVID-19 Safety Protocols
We are back to love and support you! And in order to protect the health of our clients, therapists and practitioners alike, we have developed comprehensive protocols to prevent the transmission of disease – particularly SARS-CoV-2. Please watch our video and learn more about the precautions we’re taking in the section below.
Ohana’S COVID-19 Safety Commitment and Protocols
Ohana’s overarching goal is to protect our clients, our therapists, and staff from contracting COVID-19 while also providing you with the quality, professional hands-on therapy that enhances your life and helps you feel better.
Quick List of Changes:
- Masks are required for everyone, at all times.
- Please wait in your car upon arrival and call to let us know you’re here. We will text or call you when we are ready for you to come in.
- COVID-19 Screening form must be completed for each session. We will ask you to fill out the form on your arrival.
- Temperatures will be taken on arrival.
- You will be asked to wash your hands or use sanitizer upon arrival.
- Limited waiting room, no guests, please limit your belongings.
Our policies and protocols have been developed with data and guidelines from the Federation of State Massage Board’s Massage and Bodywork Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations as well as recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and the American Massage Therapy Association. These policies and protocols are fluid, as new information becomes available from peer reviewed research we will modify as necessary.
We recognize that while most people only experience mild symptoms and recover quickly, there are people of all ages who have become seriously ill for an extended period of time. We realize the latter group, our elders, and people of all ages with a variety of medical conditions are at risk of a more serious and life-threatening disease trajectory.
While keeping surfaces disinfected and linens and washrooms clean will always be important, the concern for our work is the transmission due to potential viral load in a shared air space. There is always a concern while working in a closed space even with a mask on, this is why we have instituted these protocols.
Ohana Wellness is committed to doing all we can to keep you and our therapists, practitioners, and staff safe. We require your help to do that, please answer our questions truthfully, and reschedule if need be.
Ohana Wellness follows Standard Precautions for the prevention of disease transmission. The CDC defines Standard Precautions as “the minimum infection prevention practices that apply to all patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed infection status of the patient, in any setting where healthcare is delivered.”
Office Cleanliness, Sanitation, and Disease Prevention Protocols
- Surfaces: All surfaces that may become contaminated will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and each treatment room will be cleaned and disinfected after each session. An EPA registered disinfectant specific for use against SARS-CoV-2 will be used on all surfaces with required contact time. We have removed all items from the treatment rooms and reception areas that are not able to be cleaned appropriately.
- Treatment Rooms will be cleaned and disinfected after each session. Sufficient time is allowed between sessions to complete this process.
- High Touch Items around the front desk including clipboards, pens, credit card machines, and computers will be sanitized with an alcohol-based product before and after use. Door knobs, light switches and the like will be disinfected frequently during the day.
- Laundry: Our protocol has only changed slightly; all used linens and other items will be washed with detergent and warm water; this is sufficient to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning: Ohana has placed a HEPA Air Sanitizing system with UV lights in each room as recommended to help destroy any airborne disease particles. Fans have been placed in every room for circulation. Ventilation has been increased in treatment rooms and the reception area when the weather allows, we will open the windows.
- Hand washing: Our therapists, practitioners, and staff are pros at hand washing and will continue to do so. Washing hands with soap and warm water, thoroughly cleaning all areas of hands and forearms. Scrubbing for 20 seconds or more is the recommended protocol and is suggested for everyone.
- Hand Sanitizer is available throughout the office. Please use sufficient hand sanitizer to completely cover hands, move it around and rub it in until dried. Hand sanitizer is not as effective as hand washing. Hand sanitizer will not be effective on greasy or soiled hands, hand washing is suggested.
- Screening Calls in Advance: Clients will often receive a call from Ohana a day or two before their appointment with reminders about our new procedures. This is also an opportunity to discuss any symptoms or concerns. You can prepay for your session at this time to avoid the front desk and to eliminate common area traffic.
- Face Masks: Are required to be worn at all times at Ohana by clients and Ohana therapists and staff. This is non-negotiable and required by our licensing board as well as the Montgomery County Health Department. Face masks must be worn during your session. If you do not have a mask, we will supply you with a disposable medical procedure mask on arrival. Please let us know you need one when we call you in.
Enhanced Client Safety Protocols
Arrival and Social Distancing:
Please wait in your car and call to let us know you’ve arrived. At your session time, we call/text to invite you into the office. There will be no waiting, you will move directly to the treatment room to allow for social distancing. Please bring in as little as possible.
Intake and Screening Forms:
- Intake Form – New clients are required to bring their intake form completely filled out to their first session.
- COVID-19 Screening Form – This form must be completed before each session. We will ask you to fill out the form on your arrival.
- Temperature Screening – Must be below 99.5. Temperatures will be taken with a no-touch thermometer when you arrive at Ohana. Lack of fever does not guarantee that one is not infected with COVID-19, it is a recommended screening tool when combined with a thorough intake. 100.4 is considered a fever by the Maryland Department of Health. We will reschedule anyone with a temperature of 99.5 or higher.
- Our waiting room is limited: There will be no waiting inside – you will move directly to your treatment room. Please do not bring any guests or children.
- Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing – is required as you enter Ohana. Thank you.
Talking During Session:
Talking and laughing, tears, and a sneeze or cough are all things that happen during sessions. They are also a concern because they add to potential viral load. As always, we do want to hear from you about what is going on in your body and your experience during the session. We ask that chatting be kept to a minimum. If you have a lot going on, needing a longer than normal intake, that discussion can take place over the phone when we call you to come in, simply let us know.
Tissue and Hand Sanitizer:
Is available in each treatment room, please dispose of your tissue or other items in the wastebasket that will be emptied after each session.
Tea and Water:
Please let your therapist get you water or tea to reduce possible surface contamination and allow for social distancing in the reception area. As much as we love our mugs, and prefer reusable, we will be using paper cups for the time being for safety. You are welcome to bring your water bottle as always and we will be happy to refill it for you.
Checkout and Scheduling:
You can prepay with the front desk manager over the phone during your phone conformation and intake OR we will invite you to the front desk to pay and reschedule. Scheduling future sessions via a computer at home is always recommended.
Therapist, Practitioner and Staff Commitments and Internal Protocols
Ohana’s Therapists, Practitioners, and staff have committed to meet the standards described in our Office Cleanliness, Sanitation, and Disease Prevention Protocols (outlined in the Standard Precautions section), as well as guide clients through the Enhanced Client Safety Protocols and new Screening Requirements.
In addition, we are committed to supporting one another in social distancing and taking additional precautions while at Ohana.We take health and well-being very seriously, this is what we do, and we want to keep everyone safe and well. All of the people you encounter at Ohana will do their best to be of support to you and find the best ways to address your issues or concerns safely.
- Daily Screening: Each therapist, practitioner, and staff members will complete a screening form at the start of their workday. This includes recording their temperature on arrival. They will also be questioned about possible symptoms and exposure. Any therapist who has any symptoms, a temperature of 99.5 or higher, or possible exposure will not come into work and will follow the guidelines in Ohana’s COVID-19 Response and Closing Protocols. You will hear from Ohana immediately if an appointment must be rescheduled.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Ohana’s therapists will wear the following PPE during sessions:
– Face Masks will be worn at all times.
– “Gowns” each therapist will have multiple button-down or zip-up long tops and will change after each client.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Ohana’s therapists will wear the following PPE during sessions:
- Cleaning and Disinfection: Ohana’s therapists, practitioners, and staff will track all the cleaning, sanitation, and laundry protocols to keep track of each of the requirements and document their completion.
- Hand Washing: Ohana’s therapists are pros at handwashing and keeping things clean, they wash their hands before and after the session and often again in-between. During your session, they will use hand sanitizer right before being hands-on with you and if they have had to touch another surface that could potentially be contaminated during the session.
- Therapist Privacy: We are all taking this commitment to safety very seriously and have significantly altered our day to day lives to be able to meet our ethical requirements to keep everyone safe. It has always been an ethical requirement that therapists and practitioners keep their personal lives separate and we will continue to respect and honor that boundary. As an example, we have committed to taking our temperatures at the start of the workday, we ask you to trust that your therapist reported their temperature as required and it was under 99.5 if they are working with you.
COVID-19 Exposure Closing Policy
Due to the infectious nature of COVID-19 Ohana Wellness Center has prepared to respond to a variety of situations where a client, therapist, or staff member may have been exposed to or diagnosed as having the virus. Ohana will fully participate in any Contact Tracing as required by the Maryland Health Department.
In the event that a client reports a positive COVID-19 test, symptoms, or a pending test within two weeks of a session at Ohana Wellness Center:
- The therapist will self-isolate/quarantine themselves for 14 days from the time of exposure.
- The therapist will obtain testing and follow the guidelines below if they receive a positive test.
- The therapist will not return to work until a negative test has been received or when advised to do so by the Montgomery County Health Department.
- Clients who visited Ohana on the same day as the client will be notified and provided with information that does not violate the HIPAA protections of other clients. It is suggested they then seek further guidance from their health care provider or the Montgomery County Health Department about being tested and self-isolation/quarantine.
- If the client’s test result subsequently comes back as negative, with clearance from their doctor the therapist can end the self-isolation and return to work before the end of the 14-day time period.
In the event that an active Ohana Therapist, Practitioner, or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, exhibits symptoms, or has a pending test:
- Ohana will close for 48-72 hours for additional thorough cleaning.
- All clients who had sessions (close contact) with the therapist and clients who might have been exposed due to the timing of their session will be notified immediately. It is suggested that they seek further guidance from their primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or the Montgomery County Health Department.
- Any other Ohana Therapist or staff who may have had close contact or potential exposure will self-isolate for 14 days and be tested.
- They will not return to work until they are cleared with two negative tests, and will also follow any other guidelines from their doctor or the Montgomery County Health Department. This might be shortened if accurate testing determines that they are not infected.
- Ohana will contact and follow further recommendations from the Montgomery County Health Department.
Closure due to a dangerous increase in local cases:
If there is a local spike in COVID-19 infections and it is recommended or required that Ohana close, we will do so again.
An investigative technique that can help slow or stop the spread of an infectious disease by tracking the contacts and exposures of an infected individual. Then individuals at risk can be tested and self-isolate, thus slowing the spread, especially in cases of asymptomatic infection. Ohana Wellness Center will comply with all contact tracing efforts of the Montgomery County Health Department. While we will do our best to protect your privacy as required by HIPAA, we must also provide contact information as required.
Definitions from the CDC:
Self-Quarantine: You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the person who had COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and you should avoid public places for 14 days.
NOTE: in addition to these guidelines, we recommend that if a person has been informed that they have been exposed to the virus, they should get tested if possible.
Close Contact: a) Being within 6 feet of a person who has the virus for 30 minutes or more (Note: some experts reduce the “safe” exposure time to 10 minutes or more.) or b) having unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions or excretions of the patient (e.g., being coughed on, touching used tissues with a bare hand).
When Is It OK to Come for Your Session? When Is Rescheduling Best?
Life happens, schedules change, and we cannot predict all sorts of things. We understand and ask that you give us 24-48 hours’ notice when you need to reschedule or cancel your session.
We are living in a time of heightened concern due to the spread of COVID-19 around the world. Ohana hasn’t needed to change our policy, and we want to highlight some pertinent points: if you newly fall under any of the categories below, we will waive the cancellation fee – please contact us immediately. We ask you to reschedule for a time when you are feeling better or not contagious.
Please email or call to reschedule if:
- You have any symptoms that could be associated with COVID-19 (or any other illness with similar symptoms).
- If you have tested positive, are waiting on a test, or share your home with someone who is in this situation.
- If you are sick, running a fever, or feel like you are coming down with something
- If you have been exposed to COVID-19, the CoronaVirus, the flu, or other communicable disease within the previous 14 days.
- If you have any respiratory system symptoms – cough, sneezing, wheezing, congestion, runny nose – even if you are sure they are only allergies
- If you or any of your household members are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below at the moment or in the last 14 days:
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- New widespread muscle pain
- New or different headaches
- Loss of taste and smell
- Bruising, redness, swelling
- New skin rash or skin changes
- Cramping in lower legs and feet
- Red or purple toes
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion/runny nose – even if it is only allergies
In addition, we suggest that our elders and those with underlying health issues who are at higher risk take stronger protective measures and seek medical advice in order to make informed choices based on their individual risk factors. Our therapists take everyone’s health very seriously and we will cancel sessions if a therapist is unwell. If at any time you have questions or concerns, please give us a call at 301-215-6388 to discuss.