During the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the
acupuncture clinic in the United States will resume work with the degree of
epidemic control in each state after the peak period in the United States. It is
unavoidable to contact patients with COVID-19 in the clinic after the resumption.
We have established the guidelines for each American acupuncture practitioner to
create a qualified epidemic prevention environment to resume the work of the
1. Choosing the right time is the key to reopen the acupuncture clinic.
The timetable for the resumption of work in different states of the United States is
different, and the specific situation of each acupuncture clinic is different. We
need a comprehensive assessment to determine when to resume work. Please
refer to the following factors:
Comply with the administrative orders of the federal, state, county, and
Listen to the suggestions of the person in charge of public health and
the professional analysis of the industry;
Consider the regulations of the other healthcare professions, such as
Western medicine, chiropractic and dentistry;
Check the coverage of the individual malpractice insurance;
Inspect whether the structure space and furniture arrangement of the
clinic meet the requirements of isolation and disinfection;
Ensure sufficient reserves of protective disinfection supplies;
Evaluate the physical health and economic status of yourself and your
Assess whether each employee has sufficient knowledge and protective
skills for infectious diseases.
The number of new confirmed patients in the community near your clinic is in a
declining phase and tends to be stable, which is the premise for the acupuncture
clinic to consider reopening.
2. Excluding of COVID-19 patients is the beginning of the reopening of
the acupuncture clinic.
As an acupuncturist working in the United States, we do not have the right to
provide direct treatment for patients with COVID-19, so we should try to avoid
contact with COVID-19 patients. After we return to work, we will inevitably
encounter COVID-19 patients or asymptomatic virus carriers. For our acupuncture
clinic, the first thing is to exclude the COVID-19 patients before the medical staff
touches the patient:
In the clinic website and voice message, inform the patients that the
clinic will not hold face-to-face appointment with the COVID-19 or
suspected patients. Advise them to consult their family doctor or local
public health bureau through the telephone hotline.
Make an appointment with every patient on the phone, ask patients in
detail whether they have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, changes in
taste and smell, digestive symptoms, recent skin lesions, etc., and
whether there is a COVID-19 or suspected patient contact history. For
any patients with suspected or confirmed COVID symptoms, it is
recommended that patients not come to the clinic. No walk in patients.
Control the process of resumption of the clinic and gradually
increase the opening hours, from three half days per week， to every
other day, until the normal opening time.
can check the list of registered disinfectant solutions of the State
Environmental Protection Agency.
Keep each room well ventilated with fresh air, and open doors and
windows if conditions permit. At the end of each day, use ultraviolet
light or essential oil to disinfect the air in the clinic; use Lysol to disinfect
the sink and toilet.
Every table should be strictly disinfected every time after each usage. Try
to use disposable paper sheet and spread it directly on the treatment
table. It is best to cover all surfaces making it easy for disinfection. The
reusable linens, towels and cover sheets should be replaced and cleaned
at a high temperature after the treatment.
Surfaces that are frequently touched by medical staff and patients, such
as door handles, stair handrails, hand sanitizer
handles, countertops, faucets, sinks, seats, toilet seats, water tank
buttons, used cupping cups, electroacupuncture device surfaces and
cables, should be cleaned and disinfected, by using alcohol or
3.2 Medical protection
Prepare personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves,
goggles / face masks, and isolation gowns.
The mask can be used for one day if you keep it clean and
dry. If possible, it is better for doctors to wear N-95 masks. Between
each patient, the mask can be changed. Wash your hands before putting
on and taking off the mask. Don't touch the inside of the mask.
It is recommended to wear gloves between each patient. Moving the
replaced clothes, cleaning and disinfecting treatment rooms, gloves
should be worn. When you remove the gloves, it is better to turn the
inside out and discard it. After removing gloves, hands must be washed.
In addition to masks, face shields or goggles can protect the eyes and
It is recommended to wear surgical gowns or isolation gowns. Medical
staff should have extra uniforms available in case of
contamination. Clean clinic clothing at high temperatures every
day. Before leaving work, change clothes to go home. After work, take a
shower before coming into contact with family members.
3.3 Doctor-patient contact
Prepare a thermometer, mask, soap, and disinfectant hand
sanitizer (alcohol content is at least 60%).
Post a notice on the door, and let the patient waiting in the car outside
the door. The accompanying person is also waiting in the car during the
appointment (except for children).
Measure every patient's body temperature, at the entrance, better outside
the door. Patients should enter the exam room directly. If the patient's
body temperature is high (>100.4F), the patient should be referred to a
specialist and report to the local public health department.
If the patient does not have a mask, prepare a mask for the patient and
ask the patient to wear the mask throughout the entire visit.
Before and after each patient's diagnosis and treatment, doctors should
wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20
seconds, or use disinfectant hand sanitizer to clean hands. Avoid touching
eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Try to maintain a social distance between medical staff and patients. In
order to minimize the droplets spread, avoid direct contact
patients. Medical staff and patients should not be in a room for more
than 15 minutes.
Appointments between each patient should be at least 30 minutes in
order to disinfect the room. Patients are not allowed to enter
different room to reduce the risk of infection.
Non-contact registration and payment are highly recommended.
If the staff in the clinic are suspected of infection, they should immediately
self-quarantine; if the acupuncturist has COVID-19 confirmed, all patients
should be called that are treated for the past 2 weeks.
During the global pandemic of COVID-19, the situation in the United States is
constantly evolving. Please follow our official website and social media. We
will update the information and preventive measures of COVID-19 in time to
ensure that the American acupuncture clinic resumes normal operation as
soon as possible.
American TCM Association ATCMA
TCM American Alumni Association TCMAAA