MAS COVID-19 Safety Policies & Procedures
Note: This page will be updated as new information or changes in policy come to pass. (updated: 07-01-20)
We are very happy to announce that MAS will be re-opening in Manchester & Nashua on Monday, July 6th
Book Your Appointments Here
(We will not be taking appointments for folks who are new to MAS, just yet. We anticipate being able to accommodate new patients by early August.)
Yes, this information is admittedly a bit dry, but certainly important. Before returning to MAS for your first treatment back, please be prepared for the changes to policies and procedures detailed below. We’re following the CDC & NH State guidelines, so our clinics are going to look a little different the next time you come in. We appreciate everyone being on the same page. You will have to have a mask on in order to enter the clinic - and please do your very best to keep your hands washed/sanitized and away from your face once inside.
We'd also like to acknowledge that some of the changes detailed below may not be welcome or accessible to everyone. One of the many reasons we love community acupuncture is because of how flexible and accepting the model fundamentally is. We have been able to serve the community over the past 13 years without having to play a large role in telling people what they should or should not do. If for whatever reason, these new policies or procedures hinder your ability to receive treatment from us, we are really sorry and we hope that the time comes soon when you are able to rest with us again.
Here’s an overview of what you can expect. More details are available further down the page.
We'll be starting off with more limited schedules while April, Elizabeth and Andy will be treating:
For the purposes of keeping adequate distance between people entering and exiting the clinics, we ask for you to please be at the clinic entrance within two minutes of your appointment time only. If you are at the entrance earlier, please expect to wait. If you are late, we will likely not be able to fit you in. Missed appointments are responsible for a $10 fee. Just outside the front door, you’ll see a sign asking you to sanitize your hands with a touchless dispenser. Please oblige. Once we meet you out front, we'll have you take part in a pre-screening series of questions and a temperature check. We'll then open the door for you and welcome you inside. When you enter the clinic, please have your mask on. Once inside we'll talk a bit, collect payment if you haven't already pre-paid and schedule future visits if you'd like to do so.
From here, you'll make your way into the treatment room. Make yourself at home here as you normally would have pre-COVID. Take note of the arrows on the floor directing movement around the treatment room. You'll see about half of the recliners have been taken out of rotation. You’re welcome to choose any recliner that isn't facing the wall. There'll be a fresh sheet over your recliner of choice. You’re also welcome to bring your own clean sheet and blanket from home. In order to limit our in-house laundry, we'd very much appreciate for you to bring in your own clean blanket to cover up with during treatment, if you are able.
For now, we’re limiting everyone’s rest time to one hour.
To minimize everyone’s contact with high-touch surfaces, water will be available by request, the bathroom for urgency & emergency situations only.
Likewise, weather permitting we’ll be leaving our treatment room doors open as often as possible. This means our treatment rooms might be a little noisier than usual, so feel free to bring earplugs or headphones from home.
Please leave everything you do not need for your appointment in your car or at home.
Please assess your personal risk level when considering making an appointment. While we are doing everything we can to ensure your safety, it is important to be cautious during this time especially if you fit the CDC's at-risk criteria.
How We're Keeping Us All Safe
MAS staff are conducting daily staff-screenings and temperature checks, complying with recommended social-distancing guidelines and will wash/disinfect their hands between all patients and after touching all surfaces. All of your acupuncturists are following the guidelines of public health officials in their personal lives, as well.
- Anyone entering the clinic will be required to wear a mask, including all staff and patients. If you don’t have a mask, we'll have one available for you at $5 cost.
- We’re cleaning and sanitizing our facilities on an ongoing basis, following the latest CDC guidelines to do so.
- We’ve closed the waiting room and spread out treatment room recliners to ensure adequate physical-distancing of at least six feet, often much more.
- We will be disinfecting the recliners after each use. It takes 5-10 minutes for the disinfectant to dry. If you see a recliner that's without a sheet, but vinyl-covered with a print of white stars, it's not dry just yet. Pick a different chair.
- We’re following the latest recommendations from public health and infectious disease experts. Our policies may change as new information emerges. Know we are committed to providing the safest environment possible for our patients and staff. MAS is a home away from home for all of us, we wouldn't want it any other way.
- Lastly, we've invested in new technology as part of the heating/cooling systems (HVAC) that aims to eliminate bacterial or viral presence in the air moving through the ductwork. This in addition to the five (!) large HEPA air-purifiers that are always on in each location and maintained regularly.
- We feel confident in these steps – new and long-standing – to maintain a safer space for us all.
How You Can Help
For the time being, we expect to be providing only a fraction of the treatments we’d normally be able to provide. You can help keep the organization moving ahead and our prices low with a few small steps:
- Please pay with cash (exact change, we will not have change to offer) or check, if possible. We’ll have a payment box near the front desk where you can drop your cash or check into for contactless payments. Credit cards will work, as well.
- In addition, we are participating in Paypal QR Code program so payments to MAS can be made on your smartphone. If you have a PayPal account, download the app on your smartphone and sign in. Press 'scan'. Hold your phone up to the MAS QR code - It's a lot like taking a picture with your camera. Enter the amount you'd like to pay and hit 'send'. That's it. You'll get confirmation of payment in the app.
Alternately, use this address to pay MAS at any time: paypal.me/manchacu
- Please limit your time in the lobby for check-in and payment only. We’re not welcoming non-patients to wait in our lobby or treatment room.
- Please arrive on time (within 2 minutes) for your appointment and let us know with at least 12 hours in advance if you need to reschedule.
- Please be patient with us and understand that we’ll be working with a smaller number of staff for a while. If you call during clinic hours, we'll be able to answer your call. During off-hours we might not be able to get back to you right away. Do trust your call will be returned as soon as possible - but not always from a recognizable number, as we may be calling from outside of clinic.
- The quickest and easiest way to schedule an appointment is always online at pocapoint.com/pp/mas
- MAS depends on higher-volume to keep our prices low. We will be evaluating the financial impact of these COVID-related policy changes. To stay afloat over the next handful of months with this new-for-now normal, we would appreciate your help. If you are in the position to pay a bit higher on the sliding-scale for your treatments or able to offer a tax-deductible donation to the organization, MAS would greatly appreciate and benefit from your doing so.
The following document contains the pre-screening questions you'll be asked at each visit for the foreseeable future.
It'll help to know your answers before presenting yourself for your treatment. We'll have a copy posted at the front entrance at each clinic, as well.
This document also includes a consent-to-treat with COVID19 in mind and a clear statement of the mask policy.
You'll be asked to sign a copy of this document at your first visit back to MAS.
We know this is a lot of change. As you're likely aware, COVID-19 is changing the way many households and businesses operate, all the while disproportionately impacting the most marginalized and vulnerable among us. We can’t know what the future will look like, but MAS is committed to meeting this moment armed with reliable information and with flexibility and compassion. If there was ever a time for a low-cost, drug-free approach for increasing resiliency, reducing high-stress, anxiety and insomnia, the time is now. We're grateful to be present with you. Community acupuncture is such a valuable resource for helping to collectively process this all. At the same time, we know MAS isn't going to be able to operate quite in the same way as we have in the past. Not yet anyway.
We hope MAS can continue to be a source of recovery, relief and adaptation for you and for our community. We hope that these strange weeks and heightened isolation brings a renewed appreciation of the power of community and working together. It certainly has for us.
Thank you so much for your understanding and patience as we enter this new-for-now normal. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
The MAS Staff & Board
Posted in Manchester Acupuncture