The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) has released guidance for massage practitioners and schools during the COVID-19 crisis. The guidelines, created by a Task Force of experts from across the profession, are available at www.fsmtb.org/media/2319/fsmtb20200519guidelinesforpracticecovid-19.pdf.
The introduction to the document states:
Clean facilities, proper practitioner hygiene, procedures to ensure client safety, and disease prevention protocols have long been a cornerstone of professional massage and bodywork practice. The outbreak and rapid spread of coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) highlights the need for renewed attention and increased vigilance in these areas as states lift stay-at home orders (also called stay-in-place orders) and massage and bodywork practitioners return to practice.
The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) is pleased to present the Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations. This document contains recommendations and guidelines for massage and bodywork practitioners to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The intent of this document is to provide a resource to FSMTB Member Boards and Agencies, massage and bodywork professionals, and massage school staff in order to support public protection. Readers are encouraged to refer to and use the FSMTB Guidelines for Practice with COVID-19 Considerations within the confines of the regulatory structures of their respective states.
FSMTB recognizes that some customization and flexibility are necessary to allow these concepts to be of assistance in each jurisdiction and practice setting. Each massage practice will have its own time frame for returning to work based on the state’s stay-at-home orders, supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), funding for massage programs, availability of COVID-19 tests, COVID-19 testing rates, and stable or falling COVID-related hospitalization rates for two weeks or more. These recommendations and guidelines do not replace any directives or guidance provided by federal or state agencies, regulatory boards, or other authorities having jurisdiction. Where conflicts occur, the stricter requirement will apply.
ABMP supported the project by reviewing and offering feedback on a late draft of the guidelines.
ABMP’s Back-to-Practice Guide is available at www.abmp.com/back-to-practice.