Preparing Your Return to Work and Practices
Here we will post links and other helpful information as it becomes available to assist our Maine Massage Therapists and Members prepare for a safe return to work.
Maine Massage Update
- For additional information and most current updates, we encourage you to visit the Maine COVID-19 page. To view a history of updates related to massage and COVID-19 in your state, you can visit AMTA’s page.
UPDATE on Vaccine: (See Covid-19 Maine resources page as well)
Please write to us with your stories, thoughts, and experiences about your return to work, how you continue to practice safely.
If you have chosen to delay your return to work or have a limited practice, please share your thoughts.
Please consider volunteering on one of our committees, assisting us with online meet and greets for networking and discussion, or future event and education planning.
From the Maine State Governor and Maine OPOR License offices:
The Governor has ordered that any business now authorized to be open shall comply with the General COVID-19 Prevention Checklist and other State of Maine guidance in response to the serious health and safety risks of the highly contagious COVID-19. As a licensee of the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation (OPOR), it is your responsibility to be aware of these COVID-19 safety measures and applicable compliance requirements.
OPOR licensing entities may impose discipline on licensees found to have violated COVID-19 safety measures. When OPOR receives a complaint of noncompliance with COVID-19 safety measures through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) portal, an informal educational letter is sent to the licensee. If OPOR receives acomplaint through its complaint intake form, or if OPOR receives additional allegations of noncompliance through the DECD portal after the informal educational letter is sent, the formal complaint process is triggered, and the licensee may be subject to discipline.
The State’s response to COVID-19 is evolving as more information becomes available. We recommend that you stay up to date by accessing the resources available at https://www.maine.gov/covid19/. This site includes links to the Governor’s Executive Orders, DECD checklists, and other resources that may be helpful to you professionally or personally.
If you have questions, we encourage you to contact your board’s administrator. Thank you for your efforts to keep your community, your clients and yourself safe and healthy.
21 May UPDATE from AMTA National:
|Expanded Reopening Consideration for Massage Therapists: Practice Guidelines and Insurance Coverage
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, AMTA is committed to supporting you and making sure you have the most up to date information. Each state will have its own reopening guidance, and it’s important to be aware of the laws, executive orders, and regulations that impact massage therapists at this time. It’s also important to make sure that your professional liability insurance covers you for communicable diseases like the Coronavirus. AMTA members, rest assured, there are no exclusions on your policy for this Coronavirus or communicable diseases. If you’re not an AMTA member, make sure you check with your provider. And new yesterday, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has developed guidelines for state and regulatory agencies of oversight and massage therapists across various workplace settings that are now available for download.
Please forward to any massage therapists you think would benefit from this new resource.
Subscribe to AMTA’s advocacy mailing list here.
16 May UPDATED RESOURCES from AMTA National Site: https://www.amtamassage.org/about/news/covid-19-resources-for-massage-therapists/
The 1 May 2020 UPDATE Document from the Maine State License Office. Please click on the line below:
Here is a link to AMTA National website with suggested guidelines and resource links for businesses financial supports, and guidelines to follow for ethical and scientifically sound protocols to re-open when the State of Maine determines.
We want to ensure practitioners, clients, and our communities are safe. We are committed to practicing according to ethical, professional, and scientifically accurate guidelines. For details on Maine State links and Covid-19 information, check those pages as well.
Thank you for your patience as we post and coordinate the information here.
As of 23 April: Disclaimer: AMTA National and AMTA Maine Chapter do not have an opinion about any links that offer opinion or information that requires further research.
We aim to offer information for people to consider.
All LMTS and practitioners should rely on and refer to STATE and CDC guidelines for correct and MOST current protocol. Please follow updates from those reliable sources, and be patient as things will be changing daily, weekly, and monthly.
Feel free to contact one of our volunteers via phone or email anytime. If we do not have an answer or resources, we can search further on your behalf.
Please let our volunteers know if you have other valuable resources or any questions you think we can assist with.
We are here to support one another, share, and stay connected. This is a great time to get involved with our committees to keep activities and future planning buoyed and robust.
Regular updates via AMTA National that come to us include membership renewals, financial supports, Federal and state relief/grants, loans, CDC guidelines, state and local updates for businesses, how to prepare for re-opening etc.
UPDATE: May 1, 2020:
10 Important Considerations for Reopening
Knowing that every state provides guidelines, here are 10 important considerations as you plan for when your state will allow you to begin seeing clients.
1. Gain a full understanding of any new laws and ordinances at the local, state, and national levels and adjust your practices accordingly.
2. Institute thorough cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols in your massage room as well as any communal areas and of any objects clients touch.
3. Consider the laundry policy for your clothes, linens, towels, and other washable objects.
4. Think about your own use of Personal Protection Equipment (including masks, gloves, and clothing).
5. Practice proper handwashing and hygiene protocols.
6. Consider your booking practices and make any changes to allow for sanitization procedures and recognizing social distancing recommendations that may limit the number of people in one space. Evaluate your cancellation policy and protocols if a client shows signs of illness.
7. Implement an enhanced intake process and demonstrate your commitment to the health of your clients and yourself.
8. Minimize contact during check-ins and check out (make use of virtual tools).
9. If you work with other massage therapists or service providers, consider any necessary updates to your HR and staffing policies. If you are an employee, carefully review any guidelines you will need to follow.
10. Post signage in waiting rooms and common areas to emphasize social distancing, handwashing, and any protective equipment you expect your clients to use.
We encourage every massage therapist to use their best professional judgment about their ability to accept and care for clients in a way that follows their state, CDC and OSHA guidelines. And, we are working to get more concrete answers from healthcare experts, governments and massage therapy licensing boards and will be providing you with resources for protecting both yourself and your clients.
Some other resources about current concerns, questions, and issues we will to continue to discuss and develop responses to in our practices to ensure our work and protocols are up-to-date, ethical, professional, in compliance with our State mandates, and informed:
LINKS from infographic:
(Video) Hayden, M., Werner, R., Thompson, D. A discussion on the potential changes coming due to Covid 19 to the massage/bodywork professions (April 20, 2020). www.youtube.com/…
Cates, C. “Your governor is not a massage therapist.” April 21 blog post at Healwell, www.healwell.org/…/your-governor-is-not-a-massage-…
Koplen, M. Massage therapy and coronavirus: 4 reasons why masks and clean surfaces aren’t enough. Massage (April, 2020)
MT & COVID FB group:
US Dept of Labor, OSHA. Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.