With the added stress of COVID-19 and the changes it has brought to our everyday lives, 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. During the height of the pandemic in March, Sparkes Acupuncture closed for what we thought at the time would be a two week period, to help "flatten the curve." As cases continued to rise and the stay at home order was extended, it ended up being closer to three months that we were out of the office awaiting guidelines and learning more about the behavior of this novel virus.
When we reopened in June, our office made some changes in order to allow you to continue getting acupuncture treatment in a safe and comfortable manner.
Here is a short list that includes many of the new rules & changes we have made to keep Sparkes Acupuncture open and operating in the safest manner possible:
1. Face masks are required for the entire duration of your visit.
Please have your face mask on when you enter the building. You'll need to keep your mask on throughout your treatment, whether it is a face up/front (supine) or a face down/back (prone) treatment. Please make sure you are wearing your mask properly, which means it is covering your nose, mouth and chin. Your practitioner will also be wearing a mask, of course.
Please note that because of this rule, some treatments have had to be modified or changed to include only the points that are accessible while wearing a mask. Patients who benefit from facial points that are not easily accessible will be instructed to massage these points at home.
2. We are no longer using reusable sheets on our tables.
Right now it's all about keeping everything squeaky clean, as well as not reusing anything between patients. While our sheets were always washed between uses, we find disposable table paper to be the most appropriate & sanitary option going forward.
We are still using warmers on the tables! We have invested in vinyl table coverings which are fitted over the warmers. This allows us to continue heating the tables for your comfort and easily sanitize the treatment table between each use. We also use heat lamps for your comfort.
Because we aren't using sheets, we ask that you bring or wear clothing that allows the practitioner to access areas of your body necessary for treatment. In general, wearing clothing that is loose from the knees and elbows down is sufficient. Some patients prefer to bring along a change of clothes (like shorts and a tank top), or even a small blanket. Paper drapes and space blankets will also be available as needed.
3. Our waiting room is not in use for the time being.
The schedule is made to minimize contact between patients, but as an added precaution, we ask that you call or text from your car upon your arrival to the office. We'll let you know that your room is ready. Your temperature will be taken using a non-contact thermometer when you enter the office, and afterwards you will directed to come straight back to a space that is clean and ready for you. Air filters with UV sanitizing lights will be in use in the treatment rooms.
4. High touch surfaces are being regularly disinfected between patients.
All high touch surfaces are sanitized between patients. This includes tables, chairs, doorknobs, bathroom surfaces, and any other surfaces that patients regularly come in contact with. Keeping a clean space has always been important to us, but our cleaning practices have become even more meticulous due to the circumstances.
5. Expect a call before your appointment for a quick COVID-19 screening.
We'll be calling you to ask a few questions, including whether you have been exposed to COVID, or have been in contact with anyone who has recently been diagnosed with COVID. Click here to read the questions.
Please make sure to take our call, or we'll need to ask you these questions over the phone once you arrive (before you come inside).
If you have been exposed to COVID or someone with COVID-like symptoms, or if you have any new symptoms that are consistent with COVID (shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste/smell, etc.), you will be asked to reschedule to a later date. If you have been advised to quarantine by a health professional or contact tracer, or if you have recently been tested and are waiting on the results, you will also be asked to reschedule. Thank you in advance for understanding and cooperating in an effort to keep all of us safe.
6. If you have traveled to any state outside of the immediate region, we ask that you quarantine for two weeks before coming into the office for a treatment.
Right now New Jersey's guidelines require quarantine after traveling outside of the immediate region. If you must travel, please make sure to follow the rules regarding quarantine and testing. More information on New Jersey's current rules can be found by clicking here.
We also request that you quarantine for two weeks if you attend any event (such as an extended family holiday gathering) with members outside of your usual household bubble in which social distancing and mask wearing are not being adhered to. We appreciate your understanding, as we have our patients' best interests in mind and at heart.
We appreciate your anticipated cooperation!
Please feel free to call or email with any additional questions regarding our COVID-19 related policies. You can find much more information about COVID-19 on the CDC website by clicking here.
Stay healthy and safe, and we look forward to seeing you soon!