Bill and Libby Schecher
16 Middle Street
Hallowell, ME 04347
On May 24, 2021, Governor Mills lifted the mask mandate for many public places. However, important exemptions exist for schools, day care facilities, public transportation, and all healthcare facilities, which have on-going requirements for mask-wearing and social distancing. The procedures at our acupuncture clinic will not change significantly and we will continue to operate under all CDC precautions and guidelines for healthcare settings to ensure your safety as well as ours.
In addition, we want to empathically encourage all eligible people to receive their full Covid-19 vaccination. At the end of June 2021, the US had recorded 33,600,000 cases of Covid-19 and 603,000 deaths. Globally, there have been 181,000,000 cases and 3,920,000 deaths. Unvaccinated people are far more likely to get sick with Covid-19 and the on-going ubiquity of this disease will make it easier for mutations to continue to emerge. Getting vaccinated protects the individual but, just as importantly, protects the greater national and global community.
Our Five Element acupuncture practice offers treatment and support to both healthy people seeking to sustain and reinforce their general well-being and also to people who have significantly compromised immune systems. Our primary goal in this office is to operate in an informed and vigilant manner, protecting our most vulnerable patients while making acupuncture available to everyone who wishes to continue with treatment. To that end, you will find on-going changes to the clinic that make it safer, but less cozy and intimate. However, we believe that it is not the physical setting that gives Five Element acupuncture its capacity for transformation. As you know, this style of acupuncture supports the entirety of a person, on all levels of body, mind and spirit, and it is access to that depth of experience which gives it power.
What follows is a summary and outline of the changes you will see at this office.
A quick summary:
● Stay home if you feel sick.
● Please arrive 5 minutes early and wait in your car.
● Write out your check before you enter the office.
● Bring a mask to wear when you are in the clinic.
● We will guide you through the rest.
What we require of you:
● As always, we ask that you not come to the clinic if you are feeling unwell or are having symptoms of cold, flu or Covid-19. Please call us as soon as possible if you are symptomatic, but be assured that we do not expect payment for last minute cancellations due to ill health.
● Please make sure you arrive five minutes early and wait in your car until we come to get you. If someone accompanies you to these appointments, they must wait in the vehicle while you are being treated. The waiting room is closed for now.
● When we come out to your vehicle to get you, we will confirm whether or not you are vaccinated. We may ask you some screening questions about your recent activities and possible Covid-19 exposure, and (with your consent) we may take your temperature using an infrared thermometer near your forehead. If your temperature is above 100.4o F, we will advise you to return home and contact your primary care provider.
● Please leave all non essential items in your car - coat, jewelry, purse, water bottle, etc. If you plan to pay by check, please have it made out in advance.
● You will be required to wear a mask from the time we come out to your vehicle, throughout the acupuncture treatment, and until you exit the building. A well-fitting cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth is acceptable.
● Please remove your shoes and leave them in the shoe tray in the front hallway, as always.
● You will be required to sanitize your hands and wrists when you enter the office. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available for your use.
● You will be brought into the treatment room right away. The restroom is still available.
Changes to the clinic space:
● The soft-cushioned chairs have been removed since they are impossible to disinfect. We will be using vinyl pillow covers and a single sheet on the treatment table.
● A wooden chair and a wooden table are available for your use. Please use them to hold all your belongings, including clothes.
● Before you arrive, we will complete an extensive and time-consuming cleaning and disinfecting protocol. All items and surfaces associated with treatment will be disinfected, including the furniture used by clients; the treatment table, bolsters and pillows; our acupuncture work surface and tools; and all household door knobs. Surfaces in the restroom will be disinfected several times a day.
● All robes and drapes will be single-use, as always, and any additional blankets and sheets will also be laundered daily.
What you can expect of us:
● We will strive to be on time when beginning and ending the sessions. We will stagger our appointments so that people will not be in the public area of the office at the same time.
● The comprehensive cleaning protocol we have put in place will reduce the number of clients we can see in a day. We will make every effort to ensure that appointments remain available but we expect there to be less flexibility in our schedules.
● We will wear tri-layer procedural masks or KN95 respirators the entire time we are in your presence. We will continue to meticulously clean our hands as we have always done, using soap and water, isopropyl alcohol or hand sanitizer.
● As always, we will continue to hold you in warm and thoughtful regard and to care for you in a way that supports the highest level of your physical, mental and psycho-spiritual health.
Maine people have generally done a good job of getting vaccinated; as of June 2021, Maine has the second highest vaccination rate in the US. Even so, there are many who have refused the vaccine and they are at continued risk of serious Covid-19 infection and are the most likely to spread this disease. Nationally, in May 2021, unvaccinated people accounted for 99.2% of Covid deaths and in Maine, during the third week in June, 94% of people hospitalized with Covid-19 infections were unvaccinated.
With the ever-present threat of new variants of Covid-19, it is imperative that everyone continue using care and taking steps to avoid exposure and the spread of this disease. We can do this by staying grounded in the good hygiene practices that we’ve mastered in the recent months, like hand sanitizing, coughing into one’s sleeve and even wearing masks when appropriate. The reality of an on-going Covid and Covid-variant risk is at the root of all our clinic precautions. Our goal is to make the clinic safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable of our patients.
It was estimated that at least 70% of the population would be exposed to the Covid-19 virus. While most people have mild to moderate symptoms, others get gravely ill. The difference between these two scenarios is the strength of the immune system in each individual. Factors such as emotional stress and loss of sleep make us more susceptible to getting sick. That is why, at a time like this, we see acupuncture as essential in helping us cope and stay healthy.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call the clinic at 622-0163.
Stay safe. Be well.
With warm regard,
Bill and Libby
Also, there are contact pages for both of us if you want to connect with us through this website.
It would be helpful if you send us an email so that we know we have everyone’s address. That will allow more efficient communication about any changes to clinic schedules or policies.