Guidelines given for wellness centers


Staff Report



CHARLESTON — As part of Gov. Jim Justice’s reopening plan, wellness centers operated by or with state licensed health care providers can open on week three, which is scheduled for Monday, May 11.

Information below from the office of Gov. Jim Justice:

Under Gov. Justice’s reopening plan, “West Virginia Strong — The Comeback,” wellness center facilities that offer exercise therapy, physical therapy, post-operative therapy, and/or rehabilitative therapy programs to individuals, which are operated as part of a hospital or hospital system, or are otherwise staffed with licensed health care providers (including physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, and physicians assistants licensed to practice in West Virginia), are to be allowed to open or remain open with the limited services outlined below. To do so, Gov. Justice has issued the following guidance to mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among staff and patrons. These guidelines, in addition to any and all relevant guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), will help West Virginians safely obtain the services provided by such facilities. Businesses are allowed and encouraged to implement more stringent protocols as they see fit.

As your business reviews and implements these new measures, we encourage you to share and discuss them with your employees and your patrons. Communicating enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices will make employees and patrons feel more confident in your wellness center/exercise therapy facilities.

Please note: The following guidelines are being published in advance of Governor Justice’s Executive Order — currently anticipated to be effective as of the week of May 11, 2020 — that will allow for the opening of such facilities that offer exercise therapy, physical therapy, post-operative therapy, and/or rehabilitative therapy programs to individuals. Further, this guidance is not intended to and shall not apply to gyms and recreational facilities generally, which remain closed as of this date.

Note further: Such wellness center facilities should also consult the Guidance for West Virginia Small Businesses, available at governor.wv.gov, to determine other best practices.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in appropriate enforcement measures.

Operational Restrictions/Requirements:

Occupancy: Restrict facility access to staffed hours only and limit facility occupancy to 50 percent of capacity as dictated by fire code.

Social Distancing: Implement social distancing guidelines of at least six feet between individuals and modify scheduling to reduce unnecessary interactions.

Equipment: Adjust equipment layout and close or restrict access to equipment to maintain at least six feet of distance between equipment.

Cleaning: Ensure that staffing and supplies available for such facilities is sufficient to enable enhanced sanitization and cleaning measures in accordance with appropriate CDC guidelines.

Limitations: The following should remain closed: Showers, locker rooms, and lockers; All swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas and other water or spa facilities; Water fountains, common areas, break rooms, check-in counters, and other areas in which pa-trons or employees may congregate.

PPE: Encourage all employees and patrons to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) where applicable, including appropriate face coverings.

Touch points: Point of sale equipment, door knobs, light switches, buttons, and exercise equipment should be frequently cleaned and sanitized.

Payments: Encourage customers to make non-cash payments.

Plan: Plan for potential COVID-19 cases and work with local health department officials when needed (i.e., monitor and trace COVID-19 cases, deep-clean facilities).

Signage: Post extensive signage on health policies, including the following documents in the workplace to help educate all on COVID-19 best practices: CDC: Stop the Spread of Germs; CDC: COVID-19 Symptoms

Customer Protection:

Screen patrons for illness prior to entry: Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat? Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours? Have you had new loss of taste or smell? Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours? Temperature checks

Keep doors and windows open where possible to improve ventilation.

Post signs encouraging social distancing.

Require patrons to clean equipment they come in contact with using disinfecting wipes before and after each use and provide, at each piece of equipment, appropriate materials to clean and disinfect such equipment.

Employee Protection:

Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat? Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours? Have you had new loss of taste or smell? Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours? Temperature checks

Staff should wear appropriate PPE, including face coverings.

Provide training on PPE based on CDC guidelines.

Provide a sanitizing station with soap and/or bottle of hand sanitizer.

Limit customer contact to the greatest extent possible, and require proper cleaning and sanitization between any necessary customer contact.

Practice recommended social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Staff Report