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Clinic Re-opening Policies in Response to Covid-19

by Rick DeTroye, LAc, MAcOM

Clinic Re-opening Policies in Response to Covid-19, Rick DeTroye L.Ac. LLC in Northeast Portland, OR

Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge   Glenwood, WA   May 21, 2020

As many of you know, I've been busy preparing for the re-opening of my clinic on Tuesday, June 9.  At this point, and to my surprise, the schedule is full for my first week back! I've made some changes to office operating procedures and there will probably be a few more that develop over the coming weeks. This new world of COVID-19 is all uncharted territory for me. The biggest thing I ask from everyone is a bit of patience as I figure things out because, really, everything has changed and will continue to as I adapt to this re-entry. In many ways, it's like starting a new business, which means it's both exciting to get going again and somewhat daunting. That said, it will be good to see everyone and to start treating again!

In order to provide a safe clinic environment both for you and me, I'll be abiding by specific interaction and hygiene protocols when you come for a treatment. If you've been to other health care offices, you're probably familiar with these, but for those of you who aren't, here is the upshot of how things will work:

- If you suspect you're sick, even if you suspect it's just a cold or flu, please do not come in for treatment. Just call or text me to let me know. I will not enforce a late cancellation fee in this instance, so don't worry about that.

- If you know or suspect you've been in contact, within two weeks of your scheduled appointment, with someone who's sick or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, do not come in for treatment. Again, just call or text me. If you give me at least 24 hours notice I may be able to fill your spot, so please give me advanced notice if you can.

- Please wear a mask or face covering. Simple cloth masks are fine, but everyone is required to have a face covering on when they arrive and to wear it throughout the duration of their treatment. As a reminder, you're wearing a mask to protect me and I'll be wearing a mask to protect you. It's a win-win situation. If you don't have a face covering on when you get here, you won't be allowed to enter the office, you won't receive a treatment, and you will be charged a no show fee.  Much as I'd like to provide masks for patients, the cost and difficulty in obtaining masks makes this impossible.

- Please come alone to your treatment if you can. Friends and family will not be allowed to wait in the reception area. If someone accompanies you to your appointment, they will have to wait in the car during the duration of your treatment.

- If you arrive early, please remain in your car until your scheduled appointment time. When it's time, come up to the door, ring the doorbell and I'll let you in.

- Please turn your cell phone off before you enter the clinic. Eliminating the distraction of a phone will make it easier for masks to stay in place and will likely enhance your ability to relax during treatments.

- Until further notice, I'm observing a "no handshakes/no hugs" policy. When you come in, a simple hello or even a joke will suffice. Make sure it's a good joke though...

- After you enter the clinic, I'll take your temperature and review a list of questions to help me identify people who may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If you have any of those symptoms, I won't be able to treat you, but there won't be any late cancellation/no show fee assessed.

- Before we proceed with the treatment, I'll have everyone wash their hands in the bathroom. Only one bathroom will be available for patients. I'm hoping it will be marked by Tuesday. There is a chart on the wall in the bathroom outlining proper hand washing technique. Even if you think you know how to wash your hands, please check the chart to see if you're missing anything. Hands should be washed for a minimum of 20 seconds and some sources even recommend 40-60 seconds. I'm okay with 20 as long as it's done properly. Yes, I did go to Catholic school and I am three-fourths German, but I can still be flexible!

- I will continue to have the table warmer and heat lamp available for your comfort during a treatment. However, blankets will not be available, so if you think you might need one on these cool days, please bring bring your own blanket or covering.

- The water cooler/heater will no longer be available for patient use. If you need a drink, just ask me and I'll get you a cup of water.

- Though I enjoy talking with everyone after treatments, I won't have the available time to do that now. I've scheduled 30 minutes between patients to guarantee sufficient time to change linens and clean treatment tables, treatment rooms, door handles, table tops, light switches, payment devices, phones, my hands, etc. Just wanted to let you know I'll be on a tighter time frame and if I cut you off mid-sentence, it's only because I have to get ready for my next patient.

- As if that's not enough, I'm still working out payment systems to minimize handling of credit cards. Right now, I'm still only using Square, but now have a Square reader which should take chip cards, ApplePay and GooglePay, and is freestanding so you can do all the swiping without me touching your card. I just received it, so will spend Monday trying to get it set up and available for use on Tuesday.

Okay, whew! That's about it. I'm hoping to get out another brief newsletter soon to pass on information about Vitamin D, infections and inflammation. There are many interesting ideas developing about the possibility of Vitamin D reducing the effects of COVID-19 for all people, but especially for people with dark skin. In the meantime, check out YouTube for videos by Dr. John Campbell and Dr. Ryan Rehl, specifically those discussing Vitamin D.

Hope you all are doing well and navigating the journey life is taking us on right now. Remember to stay as calm as you can, get plenty of rest and exercise, meditate if you like, and treat yourself and others with patience and kindness.

Best to you,