Safety measures have been implemented at OCA to minimize transmission of COVID-19. With guidance from the Ministry of Health and our acupuncture governing body, we are committed to creating a safe space to continue providing affordable acupuncture care.
What We're Doing
How COVID-19 Spreads
Respiratory Droplet Transmission
Personal Protective Equipment
Surface & Object Transmission
Surface Cleaning & Disinfection
Patients must bring their own face masks to appointments. Non-medical masks welcome. OCA will not be providing masks (read why below)
All patients will be screened for symptoms before appointments or upon studio arrival
We have reduced our appointment load and increased the spacing between our recliners
No indoor waiting for appointments
Practitioners will be outfitted with surgical mask, face shield, and a clinic uniform
Experts agree hand hygiene is #1. Stations for hand sanitizing will be placed liberally around the studio treatment space, washroom, and reception
All patients must wash or sanitize their hands upon entry to studio space
Regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces. Daily cleaning of studio in off-hours
Online intake forms for new patients
Credit and debit payments preferred. Exact cash payments only
What can I expect when I come for a treatment? How will all this work?
Upon arriving at 170 Booth, you’ll be asked to wait outside by a sign on the window. We will come to get you at the door (donned in our PPE), and you’ll be asked to put on your mask. All patients needs to bring their own masks (non-medical kinds welcome) to their appointments and wear them during their session.
If you are a new patient who needs to do a consent form in person, you will be asked to do this outside in the waiting area.
COVID-19 Symptom Screening
If you've already responded to the COVID-19 symptom screening questionnaire sent by our booking software, you'll head right in to the treatment space. If not, the acupuncturist will run through the COVID-19 screening questions with you outside the studio.
Those who screen positive will be directed to Ontario’s COVID Assessment tool for their next steps. To view the questions and check your symptom status, click here.
All patient must wash or sanitizer their hands upon entry to the studio. There are blue hand sanitizer sprays around the room for you to use at anytime.
Head right to any (free!) blue-sheeted chair and stow your stuff on the empty top shelf. Behind the chair also works. We need to stand on either side of our chair while needling, so please keep that area clear.
Receiving Your Treatment
The practitioner will come over to do your intake . If you want to minimize practitioner proximity, feel free to email us your symptoms/health updates before your session so we can review them.
Tongue diagnosis has been suspended from practice. For pulse diagnosis, we’ll check in whether that works for you. No stress if it doesn’t. We can still do our thing.
Ending the Session & Payment
We will remove your needles at the end of your treatment and give you space to get up and gather your things
Debit & credit payments are preferred at this time. We will except cash payments if they are exact. You can also e-transfer us too, if you’d rather. To minimize high-touch surfaces, we will be entering your payment amount on the iPad and handling the Square reader.
And that’s a wrap! We may have to modify our in-studio process as we times goes on and safety precautions change. Thank you for your understanding as we find our way.
Do I need to bring my own face mask or will you be giving them out?
We are requiring patients to bring their own face masks to appointments. This will enable us to maintain our $20-$40 sliding-scale.
Does the acupuncturists wear gloves when they are giving me acupuncture?
We will not be wearing gloves while performing acupuncture. The standards of practice outlined by the Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of Health clearly state that hand hygiene practices are second-to-none when it comes to minimizing COVID-19 transmission.
We are not required by our College to wear gloves while practicing acupuncture (though some practitioners might opt to do so as a personal choice).
In line with our college and ministry guidance, we will be performing top-notch hand hygiene during each acupuncture session and not be using gloves.
Is the sliding-scale still $20-$40?
For the meantime, we will be keeping with our $20-$40 because, truthfully, we love it so much.
We sincerely hope we can maintain the scale moving forward but recognize this may not be possible. The rise in expenses colliding with the decrease in patient capacity may require us to raise the lower end of our scale in the near future. We won't do this without giving you due warning and, again, we really hope we don't have to!
What if I come in and start feeling unsafe?
If you ever feel unsafe and want to leave, COVID-19 or not, this is always your choice. We support you in that to the moon and back. If you aren’t feeling okay, let us know, and those needles are out the moment you say so.
We are all learning what's going to work for us in this new phase of living and healing. It's your health and always your choice.
I like walking in for my appointments. Can I still do that?
Walk-in appointments for new patients are no longer available at this point in time. This is being done to ensure that folks get screened appropriately from symptoms and to maintain social distancing space in our little studio.
Walk-in treatment for returning patients are still an option, but with a a bit of a catch. Our booking practices have had to change to support social distancing (ie. only seeing 3 patients/hour and ensuring a limit on the number of people in the space at certain times), so those looking to walk-in may have to wait outside until a space is safely available.
Are cash payments still an option or is it debit & credit only now?
We will accept cash but in exact payment only. Debit and credit cards payments are preferred at this time. E-transfers work too if that’s more your style.
What if I have symptoms but they aren't COVID related, like a sneeze from allergies?
Ontario health regulations state clearly that symptoms with a known cause (like a runny nose from allergies or a sneeze) are okay. They do not get counted 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 during their treatments. Please email or call us if you’d like to come in but are concerned over a certain symptom, and we can troubleshoot together.
How can I minimize close proximity with the acupuncturist?
While social distancing while needling isn't possible, we can do something about limiting the pre-session chat (ie. respiratory droplet potential). By updating us on your symptoms through the 'Note' option when you book online or by sending us a pre-appointment email, we can cut down on that close-talking exchange.
I'm concerned about the community acupuncture room and contact tracing. What if I'm in the same room with someone who later gets COVID? Will I have to self-isolate?
This is a very important question we spent a lot of time thinking about. On top of our own research, we reached out to Ottawa Public Health for answers.