I'm vaccinated, now what?
So you recently became vaccinated for COVID-19 (hurray!) and are wondering if your acupuncturist is going to still make you wear your mask in the office.
And your acupuncturist (me!) is also fully vaccinated (woohoo!) and you are wondering if I'm still going to bother with disinfecting surfaces and keeping the air purifiers running?
Maybe you are wondering if you really need to reschedule your appointment if your child's school closes from a COVID exposure and you happen to wake up with the sniffles the next morning?
What about hugs??? Those migraines you've been having for 10 years are finally gone after a course of acupuncture treatments and you are so thankful you just want to give me a hug?
So what has changed?
Honestly, as far as my office policies go - not much. I know, I know! I miss the hugs too! But hear me out:
Some of us have had vaccines and some of us haven't. We know that the vaccines are very good at protecting the person who has been vaccinated. We can also assume that being vaccinated offers some protection towards spreading COVID-19 to others, but to what extent is unknown at this time. More time and more data will hopefully give us a better idea of how easily the fully vaccinated can pass on the virus to others in the coming months. For now though, I am maintaining all "pre-vaccine" safety protocols in my office for the well-being of all my patients. What does this mean?
Masks are still to be worn at all times in the building, by you and me.
Reduced capacity and continued staggering of appointments. This means when you come to see me, at most you might expect to encounter Dr. Ruck, the chiropractor I share the office space with, and/or one of his patients in passing. There should never be a full waiting room. (This also means limited availability for a little while longer.)
Temperature and symptom check on arrival. I'm still doing the same for myself daily.
Please reschedule if you are feeling ill, even if you have been fully vaccinated and it is unlikely that it is COVID-19! I'd prefer full transparency and to just play it incredibly safe.
HEPA and UV-C air purifiers are still running non-stop and I continue to disinfect all high touch surfaces with hospital grade disinfectant. Laundry is being washed with a sanitizing additive. These actions help to protect everyone, including the person who is lower on the vaccination priority list and will need to wait just a little longer for their turn.
And I'm really looking forward to the day that I can celebrate successes and wins with my patients with a hug now and then, but that day is not today.
I hate to be a buzz kill but please know that I'm choosing to keep these protocols in place for the safety and well being of all my patients. I know some of them are a little inconvenient, but it is the safest thing to protect patients who have not been vaccinated yet.
The good news is that the CDC has been releasing more lenient guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals which you can find here. This is being routinely updated as more information is gathered. And hopefully you will be able to endure the hour-long office appointment with me if it means you get to have some unmasked socialization with small groups of your vaccinated friends at home! Sounds like a good trade-off in my opinion.
Thank you for your understanding and stay well!
Christina Wallace L.Ac.