Hello, All. If you are back to work, I hope this finds you and your practice safe, healthy, and thriving. If you are still on pause or working in a different manner, I hope you are well and finding rewards in what you are doing at the moment.
Government Relations has not stopped, but we have been working differently; especially with the Capitol closed for so long and the summer devoted to COVID-questions. I have been asking questions based on the FB feeds and specific questions to myself or the Board and have some answers for you from Department of Public Health (DPH).
As per the Executive Order from Gov Lamont, all renewals are ‘paused’. DPH will still send your renewal and if you choose to renew now, you may. If you choose to wait, you may.
- If you were/are due for a renewal and did not get email/written correspondence, please contact DPH. This is improper contact information on file, most likely, as renewals are being sent when due, since the original shut-down in March. Now is a good time to grab your license and check the date. Just in case!
- If you sent money to renew and it was returned? Please contact DPH. We heard this happened in a few cases and DPH stated that they would not return money unless the application for renewal was incomplete or missing.
- In general: If you have the resources available to renew and can do so? You may. If you need to wait, you may. Once the six-months expires, you are required to pay all fees due for renewal.
ARE WE RESTRICTED ON TOOLS WE CAN USE?
I asked about hot stones, for example, and was told no restriction so long as the tool(s) can be sanitized/disinfected and cleaned between uses.
IN-HOME/ON-SITE MASSAGE PROTOCOLS:
As best you can, observe all the same protocols as in-office massage. Face coverings must be worn by both parties and you should do as much disinfection of the area as possible.
- If you have any questions, please see: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DECD/Covid_Business_Recovery-Sept-17-updates/CTReopens-Prsnl-Srvcs923.pdf This is the most up-to-date resource available for Connecticut.
SCHOOLS AND IN-PERSON CLASSES:
Try to maintain the 6-feet of distance and yes, masks and face shields on. If you can maintain same partner within the class, that can be helpful if there is a need to contact trace and determine quarantine status.
CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS:
I asked about the requirement for in-person CEs to be relaxed/adjusted/waived. The response was that, since LMTs are required to complete 24 hours every four years and 6 may be distance (online), there should be time in the other 3 non-COVID years to complete that in-person required training of 18 hours.
- If this response to COVID remains in place for an extended, multiple years’ timeframe we may petition the Governor to consider an executive order to address the CEs. We are not the only profession facing this concern.
- There are some classes beginning to be offered; maybe look into attending something local that would complete missing hours for this renewal, if you are feeling anxious.
- If you have a specific concern or circumstance, please reach out to DPH directly or contact me so that I may help get you the correct resource.
NON-COMPLICANCE TO COVID MANDATES:
What should you do if clients report to you, or you witness, non-compliant massage?
- Please report non-complaint businesses to the state.
- As part of your ethics with AMTA, the Rules Of Ethics state as point #1 that an LMT will “Conduct all business and professional activities within their scope of practice and all applicable legal and regulatory requirements” (please refer to the AMTA Code of Ethics, https://www.amtamassage.org/about/core-documents/). At this time, in Connecticut, all therapists and receivers are required to wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth and face shields or googles, to adhere to certain protocols around the appointment and to be transparent in their possible exposure risk.
- Massage is a choice and a privilege. And we are very blessed and lucky to be able to offer the stress reduction, quiet retreat, muscle relief and rehab that our clients need so desperately. But we also risk being shut down if numbers spike or contact tracing starts to identify massage offices as risk factors and transmission sites. Please continue to be diligent and cautious so that we all may continue to work and earn an income!
As always, please feel free to reach out if you have a specific concern or request and we shall do our absolute best to get you to the answers and resources you need to be safe and effective in your work.
AMTA-CT Chapter Government Relations Chair