UPDATE June 10, 2020:
Phase 2 of Alberta’s “relaunch” strategy will begin on June 12, and many massage therapy clinics will be open for business.
We’re sorry to say that MH Vicars School Public Clinic will not be one of them (yet).
We will be closed throughout the summer. We don’t yet know when it will be safe and practical for us to re-open, but we expect it will be later in the fall at the earliest. We will keep you updated as we know more.
Thank you for your patience.
Original post published May 6, 2020:
Everyone at MH Vicars is here because we love massage therapy, and have first-hand knowledge of the benefits that regular treatments from a well-trained massage therapist can bring. And nothing compares to the satisfaction of treating a client who’s sore, stressed, or in pain and seeing them walk out of your clinic with a smile on their face. Though the satisfaction of teaching someone the skills to do that comes pretty close!
So it goes without saying that we’re counting down the days until we can reopen our public clinics and see you again.
But we won’t do so until we’re confident that we can ensure everyone’s safety, and also support our students’ educational goals. This means that we cannot guarantee when our clinics will reopen.
We cannot guarantee when our clinics will reopen.
We have been carefully following the updates and announcements by Alberta’s public health officials, and were pleased to see that the government has included massage therapy in its multi-stage relaunch strategy. Massage therapists will be able to begin seeing clients, with some restrictions, in stage 2 of the plan.
We don’t yet know when stage 2 will begin. The first stage could begin as early as May 14, and further changes will depend on how that goes. We don’t expect that massage therapy clinics will be able to open for another month at the earliest.
Despite that uncertainty, massage therapists across the province are already making plans for how to safely reopen their practices.
Even for small clinics and single-therapist practices, reopening safely is going to be a huge undertaking. The professional associations have begun to publish the health and safety protocols for their members. Almost all aspects of running a practice will be affected, from your therapist’s personal protective equipment to how they disinfect common areas to how they coordinate the movement of clients and staff in and out of the clinic.
When you next see your massage therapist, you can rest assured that they will be doing everything that they can to reduce your risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. And that includes the next time that you come for a student massage at Vicars in Calgary and Edmonton. But as much planning and preparation that will need to go into re-opening a regular massage clinic (and it’s a lot!) it pales in comparison to the work that will have to go into safely opening our public clinics.
The most obvious challenge is the sheer size of our clinics. We are a large school and our public clinics regularly have over a dozen student therapists treating clients at a time. That means a lot of shared spaces, and shared surfaces. We will need to review our (already robust) cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and may need to adjust our clinic schedules. We will also need to have a reliable supply of personal protective equipment. All of this needs to be coordinated around our students’ educations, as well. Classes have continued online since we closed our campuses in March, and some students will have exams in June.
We appreciate your understanding. We also ask you to show the same patience and compassion to other therapists in your community, who may choose to delay opening their practices. All therapists and business owners will have different factors to consider in deciding when and how to reopen.
We will continue to share updates, and will let you know when we are ready to accept bookings again. Until then, stay safe and well.