Read the Preamble to the policy here.
Policy is subject to change based on health advice, risk assessment and community transmission.
- Clients MUST BRING and WEAR a well-fitted P2/N95/KN95 RESPIRATOR (mask).
- • If you forget to bring your N95, we will provide a respirator FOR A SMALL FEE to cover costs.
- • After months of recommending N95's, we have now made respirators compulsory.
- • Surgical masks and cloth masks will no longer be accepted as evidence suggests these provide less protection from aerosol transmission.
- • A parent or guardian who attends an appointment with a minor under 18 years must also wear an N95 RESPIRATOR and meet all additional Covid-19 screening requirements.
- • Minors under 12 years are not legally required to wear masks but if tolerated, a surgical mask or N95 respirator should be worn.
- • Face masks are mandatory in healthcare settings under current Qld Public Health Directions.
- • A mask covering nose and mouth must be worn at all times, including when lying face down.
- • Your therapist will wear a TGA approved N95 NIOSH respirator.
- • P2/N95/KN95 respirators offer greater protection but try to do a fit check for the best possible seal.
- • Do NOT wear masks with a vent or holes - you may breathe out virus if you have Covid-19.
- • To be effective, face masks must completely cover your mouth and nose, with NO GAPS between your face and the mask.
- • Wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your respirator/mask.
- • Do NOT touch the front of your respirator/mask as it may be contaminated with virus.
- • If you do touch your mask, wash or sanitise your hands immediately.
- • Hold mask by tapes or loops, tie/put straps around back of head or loops around your ears.
- • Press the metal strip across the top of your nose for a good seal.
- • To improve the seal of masks/repirators, remove facial hair. For surgical masks, try using adhesive tape (eg Micropore) or "knot and tuck" technique (good for smaller faces).
- • Check instructions for your own surgical mask as they can differ but usually, the blue/ darker/ rough side is worn on the outside (fluid repellent layer) and the lighter/ white/ soft side is worn on the inside (absorbent layer).
- • Surgical masks are single use only. A new surgical mask should be worn for each use.
- • Put your used mask/respirator in a sealed bag then dispose of it in a bin.
• You should wait 3 days after a Covid-19 vaccine before having a massage due to contraindications from potential side effects such as headache, pain, chills and fever.
• Health advice is to have Covid-19 Booster (3rd/4th) dose/s when you become eligible.
• Advice is to also have an Influenza Vaccine due to risks during the winter flu season and an increased risk of hospitalisation and death with Flurona (Covid-19 + Influenza co-infections).
If you have NOT had Covid-19 Booster dose/s when eligible or are unvaccinated you may be at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalisation and death. When assessing your own personal risk for remedial massage, you should consider this and all other high risk factors.
Covid-19 vaccination is mandatory for all workers in Qld health care settings.
Jodie is vaccinated for Influenza and Covid-19 (4 doses as at 11/7/22).
"Essential businesses can self-impose rules for patrons and can decide to refuse entry to unvaccinated patrons". Qld Government
- Re-Balanced Bodies will continue to apply our Covid-19 ventilation control measures:
- - CO2 monitoring throughout treatments
- - Aiming to keep CO2 levels well below the maximum recommendation of 800ppm.
- - Improving natural ventilation by opening windows in the treatment room.
- - Using mechanical ventilation (air purifier with medical grade HEPA filter) when necessary.
- - Appointments are spaced to allow ventilation of the treatment room between clients.
- - Re-Balanced Bodies has been proudly endorsed by AMT as a "clean air clinic".
13.5.22 WHY HAVE WE UPDATED OUR POLICIES?
- • Evidence suggests N95's offer greater protection than surgical and other types of masks.
- • Well-fitted respirators also help to protect you, the wearer, in addition to those around you.
- • We cannot physically distance and are in a small, indoor space so non-pharmaceutical risk control measures (eg masks, ventilation) are essential.
- • N95's will also help prevent aerosol transmission of other cold/flu viruses over the winter flu season.
- • There is an increased risk of contracting Flurona (Covid-19 + Influenza co-infections) over the winter flu season.
- • Studies suggest there is up to 50% higher risk of hospitalisation and if hospitalised, up to 50% higher risk of death if you contract Flurona.
- • There is a much higher risk of re-infection from Omicron than previous variants, and additional subvariants also continue to emerge.
- • About 5% of people who have had Covid-19 develop Long Covid. (Based on the 6.5 MILLION covid cases in Australia to date, that's potentially about 325,000 people with Long Covid). Even people who had 'mild' cases of Covid-19 can develop Long Covid.
- • In the 4 months from mid-December to mid-April, there have been about 6000 reported deaths (actual deaths are likely to be higher) from Covid-19 in Australia, and there are currently around 3000 hospitalisations a day. Australia currently has one of the highest daily case rates in the world. Experts believe case numbers are likely to be 3 to 5 times the reported number.
- • Covid-19 Booster vaccination rates in Australia are extremely low and advice from health experts continues to stress that relying solely on vaccines to reduce the risk of Covid-19 is irresponsible and increases the risk of ongoing high rates of transmission, hospitalisation, Long Covid and death.
- • Disappointingly, Qld has the LOWEST Covid-19 Booster (3 or 4 dose) rate in Australia, at a mere 62.7%. Covid-19 vaccines begin to wane significantly from about 15 weeks after the 2nd dose. Unfortunately, this means a large number of '2 dose only' Australians are now likely to have minimal vaccine protection from Covid-19, so our vaccine policy has effectively become redundant.
Re-Balanced Bodies has developed a Covid-19 Face Mask, Ventilation & Vaccination Policy to ensure we continue to comply with our legal Duty of Care to provide a safe environment and minimise risks for everyone who enters our workplace. This policy has been made with cautious consideration and research, and information has been obtained from multiple sources including Qld/Federal Governments, SafeWork Australia, Work Safe Qld, Australian/Qld Human Rights Commission, Qld/Federal Health Departments, International Health Authorities (eg WHO, CDC), Coronacast, Association of Massage Therapists and Covid-19 research papers.
With Qld borders opening and some restrictions easing or changing, community transmission of Covid-19 is likely to increase and become widespread. The most important Covid-19 risk mitigation controls include physical distancing, vaccination, ventilation and masks.
Due to the nature of remedial massage, physical distancing is not possible so we have very close physical contact for extended periods of time in a small indoor space, which may increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission. This makes other risk mitigation controls even more important.
Research indicates that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing infection, hospitalisation, and death. Even though people who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 may still have breakthrough infections, research indicates that there is a faster decline in viral load, which may reduce the length of the infectious period. Research indicates that protection from Covid-19 vaccines wanes from about 3 months after the 2nd dose and Booster (3rd/4th) dose/s provide increased protection. Research also indicates that unvaccinated people may be at higher risk of transmitting and contracting Covid-19, severe illness, hospitalisation and death. Research is ongoing on the effectiveness of vaccines in relation to Omicron and it's subvariants. Some studies indicate that Flurona (Covid-19 + Influenza co-infections) may increase risk of hospitalisation and death.
Research indicates that universal mask wearing may reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. The effectiveness of face masks depends on consistent and correct use, including covering the nose and mouth adequately to ensure a good seal. Cloth masks may be better than no protection but are significantly less efficient than single use, surgical face masks and the quality and effectiveness of cloth masks are not regulated in Australia. Surgical face masks are recommended for use in health care settings. Surgical face masks and N95 respirators should be TGA approved to ensure they meet Australian standards. N95 respirators should be fit tested to ensure a proper seal but may offer greater protection than a surgical face mask. A better seal may be obtained with surgical face masks by using the "knot and tuck" technique and/or using adhesive tape. The effectiveness of masks may be reduced if they are damp, dirty, become difficult to breathe in after wearing for a period or if you have facial hair.
Improving indoor ventilation may reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Research suggests that a consistent indoor air concentration of less than 800 parts per million (ppm) CO2 is likely to indicate that a space is well ventilated. CO2 monitoring may help to identify areas of poor ventilation. Opening doors and windows may help to improve natural ventilation. Mechanical ventilation eg air purifiers or cleaners such as those fitted with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can lower the concentration of airborne contaminants (including viruses) in the air and are useful additions in areas with poor ventilation. Recirculation settings on air conditioning units should not be used.
At Re-Balanced Bodies, we treat many clients who are in vulnerable groups for Covid-19, including clients who are immunocompromised. One of the staff members at our Ashgrove clinic also has a household member who is immunocompromised.