AMTA IOWA chapter is committed to keeping you informed on COVID-19

COVID-19 Update
An Important Message From Your AMTA Board of Directors
March 17, 2020 – 4:30pm

These are certainly challenging and unprecedented times we’re facing, with many unknowns ahead. Every day the CDC and public health officials recommend or impose stricter guidance to lessen the spread of COVID-19. We are closely tracking the rapidly evolving guidelines with the aim of keeping our members up-to-date, and we recognize how unsettling this situation is for all of you.

Extreme measures have been taken across many countries, states, communities, businesses and professions to create social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve of infection.

Yesterday afternoon federal health officials announced a new initiative, 15 days to Slow the Spread. The stated goal of this plan is to “get ahead” of the virus spreading and “flatten the curve” so hospital systems’ capacities are able to handle the expected number of infected individuals. The common thread is to create greater “social distance” between as many people as possible, regardless of current health status.

What do we all need to know?
COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person and from various surfaces and objects to a person.
The time between exposure and symptoms ranges from 2-14 days.
The virus is contagious prior to symptoms presenting.
The virus is spreading easily and sustainably in many communities in the U.S. and abroad.

Where do you fit as a massage therapist?
Unfortunately, how massage therapists fit in the ever-changing guidance is not always clear. Taking into account what is known about COVID-19 and the massive efforts and sacrifices being made by millions of people across the country to protect themselves, their families, their neighbors and strangers, we ask that every massage therapist evaluate their practice of massage and how it fits into these efforts and any direction given by national, state or local health officials.

AMTA does not have the authority to stop you from practicing massage, but firmly believes massage therapists should be part of the solution and do no harm. At this time, we believe the best way that therapists can contribute to the solution is by only practicing massage that is medically necessary and by supporting the recent federal guidelines as outlined in the 15 Days to Slow the Spread initiative thru at least March 31.

What makes our profession so amazing is its diversity. It is that same diversity that is making these decisions so difficult for therapists across the country. For those who choose to practice, please stay current with the constantly changing information from CDC, WHO and your local health officials.

Please know that we understand how difficult this decision is and the financial impact this may have on you. With that in mind, AMTA’s Government Relations Team is working to help champion unemployment benefits and Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance for massage therapists, and we’ll keep you abreast of those efforts in the days and weeks ahead.

Your health and the health of our community is our top priority. We’re here for you, and we will get through this tough time together. We are dedicated to updating you daily on this ever-changing situation and will continue to keep you informed on developments related to massage and COVID-19.