COVID-19 safety practices
We have implemented safety measure at GCA to minimize transmission of COVID-19, with guidance from the Ministry of Health and our acupuncture governing body.
COVID spreads via respiratory droplet transmission and via surface and object transmission. To minimize transmission, we are working with four pillars of safety and we need your help and cooperation with each one: 1. screening, 2. distancing, 3. masks, 4. cleaning.
Everyone who enters the clinic will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, your appointment will be cancelled and we’ll recommend that you contact your healthcare provider, Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) or visit the Assessment Centre for testing.
If you have any of the following symptoms of COVID-19:
- new onset of cough
- unexplained fatigue
- unexplained headache
- sore or “tickly” throat (not due to allergies)
- runny or congested nose (not due to allergies)
- lost sense of taste or smell
- unexplained difficulty breathing
- difficulty swallowing
- pink eye
- unexplained digestive issues (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain)
OR if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or someone who has developed new respiratory symptoms, then please do not enter our clinic.
Patients are required to maintain a social distance of six feet from other patients (unless they’re in the same bubble). We have rearranged the clinic to make that easy, including spacing out the treatment stations—aka recliners—by over six feet.
Please don’t bring anyone else with you to your appointment (unless of course they’re getting a treatment too). If someone is dropping you off and will be picking you up afterwards, we ask that they wait somewhere other than the clinic, and that you meet them outside the clinic after your appointment is finished.
While it’s not possible to give an acupuncture treatment from six feet away, we can limit the pre-session chat. Please update us on your current health concerns through the “Note” option when you book online, or send us a pre-appointment email, so we can cut down on that close-talking exchange even more (if you’re a GCA regular then you already know how little talking is necessary in the community acupuncture clinic).
For now, walk-in appointments are still ok, but we recommend booking ahead if it’s at all possible. Be aware that because of our reduced capacity and the need to minimize the number of people in our space, you might have to wait outside of the clinic until there’s a spot for you. On a related note, please make extra efforts to arrive on time (no more than five minutes early) for your appointments.
Everyone in the clinic must wear a mask for the duration of the visit. No exceptions. A faceshield alone is not enough. No masks with valves. Please bring your own mask. When you arrive at building, you’ll be given a medical mask to wear. You can wear it over your current mask, or you can swap your current mask for the medical mask.
4. Surface cleaning
Stations for hand sanitizing are at each entrance to the clinic and patients are asked to sanitize their hands upon entry. We’ll be doing regular cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and objects, as well as extensive daily cleaning of the clinic after hours.
For now, we prefer credit and debit payments, and will no longer be giving out change. New patients are highly encouraged to use our online intake forms.
Please be patient with us and with each other
This a challenging, evolving situation. We may need to change our policies as we figure out what works best for our clinic.
Frequently asked questions
Will you be raising your prices?
We sure hope not! It’s true that our capacity has reduced by 50%. You can help us maintain our $20-$40 sliding scale by bringing your own blanket, thereby helping us cut down on laundry costs.
I’m worried about the shared treatment room and contact tracing. What if I’m in the same room as someone who later gets COVID? Will I have to self-isolate?
Good question! We’ve done research about this and also reached out to Guelph-Wellington Public Health. After explaining our safety practices (six feet spacing between patients, the limit on people in our space in the room, the shortness of our intakes, all while wearing masks) we were told our clinic setting would be deemed ‘low risk’ in the contact tracing process.
What if I have symptoms but they aren’t COVID-related, like a sneeze from allergies?
Ontario health regulations state that symptoms with a known cause (like a runny nose from allergies or a sneeze) are okay. They are not regarded as a potential COVID-19 symptom.
Because the treatment room is a shared space, however, we are being very mindful of how to maintain the peacefulness of the room and ensure that everyone feels as safe as possible during their treatments. Please email or call us if you’d like to come in but are concerned about a certain symptom, and we’ll figure it out together.
Why am I being screened for symptoms twice?
Our clinic is located within a community health centre (CHC). The CHC screeners have one set of guidelines they’re obliged to follow with everyone who enters the building, while ours are slightly different. Both screening processes are quick so it should be only a minor inconvenience.