UPDATE January 7, 2021:
I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 today, and will follow up with dose number two in a few weeks. I will still be wearing PPE, screening you before you come in, and sanitizing and clearing the air out of my office between appointments. We have a long way to go before we can toss our masks out and hug each other again, but this is an excellent first step. Here is the Washington State Department of Health link to see what phase you are in: What Phase am I in?
At this time I continue to track hospital capacity in King County daily. The numbers go up and down, and I have gotten used to seeing them go to a scary place only to dive down again in a couple of days. I hope that we have seen the worst of it, but it’s hard to say. Please feel free to book appointments as you see fit and we will deal with whatever the situation is when the time comes.
COVID-19 Update November 20, 2020
The news in short: Local hospitals are starting to get full and I am directed to move into “Crisis Care” only. I may have to cancel your appointments in the coming weeks, and will be in touch about that in the day or two before your scheduled appointment.
Silver lining– if you are in acute pain, you may very likely be able to come in soon! Please reach out if you are in distress; text is great (206-343-9653) calls and emails work, too.
As a practitioner licensed by the Department of Health, I am to follow these guidelines during this pandemic:
Expansion/Contraction of Care Plan
Each health care, dental or dental specialty facility, practice, or practitioner must develop an expansion/contraction of care plan that is both congruent with community COVID-19 assessment described above, consistent with the clinical and operational capabilities and capacities of the organization, and responsive to the criteria provided below.
Expansion/contraction of care plans should be operationalized based on the standards of care that are in effect in the health care facility, practice or practitioner’s relevant geography as determined by that region’s emergency health care coalition, as follows:
• Conventional Care Phase – All appropriate clinical care can be provided.
• Contingency Care Phase – All appropriate clinical care can be provided so long as there is sufficient access to PPE and, for hospitals, surge capacity is at least 20% (emphasis mine).
• Crisis Care Phase – All emergent and urgent care shall be provided; elective care, that the postponement of which for more than 90 days would, in the judgment of the clinician, cause harm; the full suite of family planning services and procedures, newborn care, infant and pediatric vaccinations, and other preventive care, such as annual flu vaccinations, can continue.
Since returning to work in June I have been monitoring the Key Indicators of COVID-19 Activity in King County, where hospital surge capacity has been pretty steadily over the 20% mark. Until this week. As I write this, we have slipped over that line, and are therefore in “Crisis Care Phase”, in which only urgent care shall be provided.
For a massage and bodywork practice, the guidance on what constitutes “urgent care” is limited, but the Department of Health gives “lymphatic overwhelm issues, severe whiplash, and acute pain control.” as examples. The DOH also states that, “Simply having a prescription for massage is not sufficient to establish urgent care.”
So. I will be reaching out to each individual on my schedule in the coming weeks in the day or two before their scheduled appointment to determine where we are and whether the appointment will be kept or canceled. This is a dynamic situation, and I plan to respond to changing conditions as they develop. At this time I will be blocking openings when they happen and filling them only via direct contact with me through text, phone, or email. Please do reach out if you are hurting, as it is very likely we will be able to get you in sooner than usual.
I will leave my schedule open to bookings in later December (though December is pretty much booked) and January and pray that we have managed to bring the virus to heel by then, and I will send out another note to let you know when bookings can return to normal.
In the meantime, I hope that you and yours are able to find moments of connection and joy, that your hearts are as full as your Thanksgiving bellies, and that you know you are loved and appreciated. Take good care of each other,