Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Skincare & Covid-19

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February 5th 2022 Update:

All of our staff are fully vaccinated and boosted with a handful of exceptions.
We have a very small amount of medical exceptions and those are folks who are partially vaccinated and had allergic reactions or another concern that gives them exceptions under law. Unfortunately because vaccine status is personal health information we cannot share it with the public but we can confirm if the staff member has given us permission to share their status. Please ask when booking if the staff member has given permission and we will share their status with you.

We have N95s on site for our staff and in the event that a customer is not wearing an N95 we have them available if the staff member would like to give them one for a minimal fee. We also have surgical 3 layer paper masks for a minimal fee that can be added on top of an existing mask if staff or clients would like to add an additional layer. 

We regularly coach and update our staff on mask safety and procedures and had an all staff training in January on masks wearing as well as an all staff memo on Omicron & masks and one on one coaching on mask wearing. 
We have UV-C cabinets and wands to sanitize masks (and other supplies) in treatment rooms and in the break room.
We have shields and goggles available for our staff if requested and in use by our skin care team. 
HVAC & Air
Our HVAC system was updated in 2020 before we reopened after the shut down with UV-C light filtration and hospital grade MERV filters. We have an HVAC maintenance company contract to maintain and change our filters at regular intervals. They were on site in late December.
All the treatment rooms have 1-2 windows that can be opened and we have forgone our normal winterizing to allow for them to be opened at your request or at the therapist's preference. We also have space heaters and fans to help with temperature regulation while the windows are opened in each space.
We have stand alone HEPA units in each treatment room as well. 
In between each appointment we "fog" the treatment with a fogger and a CDC approved chemical agent that is certified to kill COVID.
The fog fills the room and is allowed to dry for 10 minutes while the room is empty and then the practitioner goes in and wipes anything additional down as needed. Including points of contact, oil bottles etc. 
We have lysol on site as well that can be used as a fogging agent. 
Screening & Contact Tracing
Daily, everyone on site fills out a Covid Assessment, confirming that they do not have symptoms and their vaccination status. We regularly monitor these assessments and make changes as needed. 
In the event that a staff member or member of the community has symptoms or exposure, we reschedule their time in the office. 
We keep a detailed contact tracing log with each person on site's name, contact information and appointment information. We confirm they have completed a COVID assessment. 
Since March of 2020 we have only had one event where we had a known exposure on site and only 2 other people were exposed. As far as we know there was no infection as a result of the exposure, we hope because of our protocols and mask use.  The person that tested positive for COVID was fully vaccinated and boosted and was exposed off site. 
We encourage our customers to call or email with any questions you may have. 

September 10th Update Many of our staff have given us permission to communicate their vaccination status to customers. Please call us if you would like to confirm that your therapist is vaccinated. (339) 707-0476. We continue to mask and ask all customers and visitors to the office to mask. We will continue to fog the treatment rooms with our CDC approved cleaning agents with the fogger or with canned lysol spray. Please let us know if during your treatment you would like a window or skylight opened or the HEPA filter moved closer to the face cradle.   June 9th 2021 Update We are relieved to announce that we will be cutting back on some of the Covid protocols. Normally we are fogging in between the treatments with a chemical agent approved by the CDC. We have given staff permission to "fog" the room by hand with lysol spray and not use our fogger as long as the room is fogged each day. The practitioners are also welcome to fog as needed. We've relaxed our testing protocols for our staff as many of our staff are fully vaccinated. We will no longer be taking temperatures of each person entering the building but will of course ask anyone that is feeling sick to stay home. We've also added pillows and blankets to treatment rooms that were removed and not used since March 13th 2020. We dearly missed pillows and blankets and now that it's clear that Covid exposure is rarely if at all to surfaces and instead more likely transmitted through particles and shared air- we are feeling much safer with softer materials around. Our pillows are always protected with multiple layers of sheets and pillow cases and our blankets are washed when touched. We are still having our clients take a quick Covid Assessment to confirm that you are monitoring for symptoms. If you have had both doses of the vaccine, the form is to acknowledge that you are monitoring for symptoms of Covid and understand the risks of being in close proximity with other folks. Our staff will not be taking a daily Covid assessment but will be ongoing monitoring for symptoms. Thank you! Please let us know if you have any questions.

September 1st Update:
Due to the decrease in spread in MA we have spread out our staff testing to every 10-12 shifts or every 15 days.
All staff returning are asked to receive a negative COVID-19 test in the two weeks prior to returning to work and to increase testing if they are involved in events or higher risk activities.
July 30th Update
We have successfully updated our HVAC system with UV-C light and hospital grade Merv-13 HEPA filtration. Each treatment room has at least one window that can be opened and an additional floor HEPA filtration unit.
We are also fogging our treatment rooms after every treatment with CDC recommended cleaning agents and waiting 10-30 minutes to dry & sanitize in between appointments.
All of our staff are testing for COVID-19 every 5-9 shifts while testing is available- and we will update this site if that changes.
We are following the guidelines of nationally know immunology expert Barry Bloom- a professor of public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston-where he communicates that schools are roughly safe if COVID-19 community transmission is under control.
His requirements for "under control" would be that fewer than 8% of COVID-19 tests in the community were positive or under 10% of blood tests were seropositive.
We are using this website to track this metric:
Please let us know if you have a better source by emailing us at
As of today the positive test rate is 2.5% and there are 7 positive COVID-19 cases in Arlington in the past 14 days.
July 15th update:
For folks being tested for an appointment before August 3rd. Thank you! We realize it is taking a while to receive results due to demand. In the event your results are delayed- we will help and accommodate a few days wiggle room in our 7 day rule.
Thanks for your help.

  June 27th Due to the increased rates of COVID outside of MA- we are moving forward with caution and asking all clients that are not being treated with acupuncture to receive a COVID-19 test within 7 days of their scheduled appointment *through August 3rd*. After August 3rd- testing will be encouraged but not required. Please let us know if you need assistance with this: ___________________________________________________ Water House will be using the saliva test to test our staff every 5 shifts that they work. This test is provided to our staff by Water House along with their PPE. Please let us know if you have questions:   Water House procedure changes during COVID-19 : All of our staff will be tested every 5 shifts for COVID-19. All staff and everyone that enters the office will be required to be screened before entering the office and have a temperature check. Masks will be required in the office. Water House's dedicated practitioners & staff will continue to follow and exceed industry standards regarding disinfecting and cleaning the space, linens and surfaces. All linens will be handled with gloves. We're hiring additional cleaning staff to sanitize treatment rooms in between in appointments.

We have added additional HEPA filters that use UV-C light to filter the air in the space as well as UV-C cabinets and wands to sanitize.
Water House is hiring dedicated cleaning staff that will sanitize each treatment room and high touch surfaces between treatments.
Water House has provided our staff with COVID-19 testing every 5 shifts as well as with N95 masks, while the masks are available for purchase. All clients and practitioners must wear masks. Please bring your own mask to your appointment. We will have paper masks available if your mask becomes compromised.

All clients and practitioners are required to wash their hands when entering the space. There will be hand sanitizer available in each treatment room, the lobby and by the bathrooms. Appointment times will be staggered and clients will be given a text message "go ahead" before entering the building. Upon entering, your practitioner will greet you & your temperature will be taken. Your practitioner will bring you to wash your hands before your treatment. Your shoes must be taken off before entering the treatment room. We will not have a reception area for clients at this time and high touch surfaces will be reduced or removed. Check-in and check-out will take place before your treatment by phone or text and any transaction needed will be done within the treatment room. If you are exhibiting symptoms or come in contact with a person that is COVID-19 positive, we will reschedule your appointment at no cost. Water House will be tracking who enters the space and in the event that someone reports to us that they are symptomatic of COVID-19 we will inform you immediately. Treatment practice guidelines for our practice insurance requires all patients and clients to understand that COVID-19 is highly contagious and there is risk of severe illness if it is contracted. Water House cannot protect the folks entering the space entirely from this risk.  


June 26th Update: Hi Everyone! We are happy to announce that we are putting the finishing touches on our Re-Open Plan for July 13th that includes COVID-19 Testing for our staff weekly* and coaching and assistance for every single person that enters our space to receive testing for COVID-19 within the week before their Water House appointment. We are opening at a reduced capacity of one therapist staff member in the office at a time with a cleaning staff member and a desk staff member. We are starting at this reduced capacity to see how things go. We think testing is vital to the safety of the office and would like to require that every single person is tested before entering the space- because we are not able to require this, we are hoping to assist in facilitating testing for clients and requiring testing for staff.   For Staff: Water House will supply a weekly test for all our staff in addition to the procedures and PPE requirements that will be in place. For You: We will be providing assistance finding free COVID-19 testing before your appointment. Additionally, you must wear a mask to your appointment & complete a screening before your appointment that includes having your temperature taken. We look forward to seeing you soon! warmly, Kelly & Everyone at Water House Wellness *testing will be done for staff after every 5 shifts  


May 27th 2020 Update: One benefit on delaying re-opening is continued learning about COVID-19 and the options available to keep our staff and community safe. As I watch other businesses make decisions, I am informed on their grace and calm as each step is carefully considered. For this, I am incredibly thankful. For the next 7 weeks we will obtain N95 Masks and other PPE, UV-C wands and cabinets and additional HEPA filters for each treatment room. We will institute new protocols, train all of our staff and implement safety measures that will exceed state and federal regulations with the hope that on July 13th we will open by slowly allowing staff to volunteer to return to work. I’d like to provide in-depth detail about our reopening. I hope this transparency equips you with the necessary information to make the decision of when returning to Water House Wellness feels right for you and also gives you the opportunity to provide constructive feedback - which as a business owner has been invaluable to me over the years. First, I’d like to highlight some critical aspects of our employee requirements:

  • At this time, we are recalling employees on a volunteer basis. It is not mandatory that our therapists return to work.
  • We are working on having an updated paid-time-off policy to include an expanded sick leave benefit in addition to the 2 weeks time off that staff receive at this time. This benefit is for all employees to use if a doctor has recommended that they self-isolate due to coming into close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • We are working on our staff having access to free COVID-19 evaluation and testing.
  • All employees are required to certify they have not been in close contact with anyone who is/was COVID-19 positive to their knowledge- before returning to work and before each shift.
  • All employees are required to have their temperature checked with a non-touch thermometer when they arrive to work. Any employee with a temperature of 99.6ºF or higher will be sent home.
  • Employees will continue to follow strict sanitation policies before, during, and after each treatment and/or client interaction.

Our reopening begins on July 1 with video and phone call client intakes. We will open for treatments on July 13th: acupuncture, massage, and Amma and sound baths. We are waiting on scheduling Skin Care at this time until more safety measures are in place. Until July 1st, there will be no staff available to answer incoming phone calls. Please send us an email and we will return your call as soon as we can. Upon arrival at Water House, there will be additional safety and sanitation measures noted throughout the space. We will exceed COVID-19 regulations provided to us by Licensing and Regulation authorities and ask that the following precautions, listed below, be met by our clients. If they are not, we will kindly reschedule your appointment to a later date.

  • We will ask all clients to wait outside until we have given them a text O.K. to enter the space. We will have visual social distancing markers in the office to ensure physical space is kept between individuals.
  • Clients will be asked to complete an online, phone or video intake before arriving for their appointment.
  • We will screen every person that enters the space for: Cough, Shortness of breath, Chills/shaking, Muscle pain/headache, Sore throat, Loss of taste or smell, Feeling feverish, rash, and any known contact with a person confirmed positive for COVID-19
  • We will ask that all clients and therapists do what they can to voluntarily cooperate with MA contact tracing- given what is available and accessible and a contact tracing app if available that protects the users privacy.
  • When arriving, we will ask that you wait outside and 10 feet or more from other people until we send you a text notification that it is OK to enter. Your practitioner will be waiting for you and will escort you to wash your hands and then to a treatment room.
  • Clients are required to wear masks upon arrival and throughout the duration of their reservation. There will be minor exceptions, which include facials, facial waxing, and changing from a personal mask to a disposable one.
  • Only the client receiving the service is permitted to enter. Additional friends and family including children, will not be permitted. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • Social distancing will be enforced — with the exception of the therapist that a client is scheduled with.
  • All clients will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their reservation to allow time for an extended check-in. Check-in will include taking the client’s temperature with a non-touch thermometer. If the temperature is above 99.6ºF, we will ask the client to reschedule.
  • We will ask that both client and therapist leave your shoes outside of the treatment room. If a therapists works in shoes, we will ask them to bring a different pair that can be bagged and used only during treatments.
  • We will make every effort to make payments touchless by giving all clients the option to prepay or use a membership credit. If a client arrives to an appointment without pre-paying, they will give their treatment provider the form of payment before the treatment so that the card can be run during the treatment and sanitized before being returned.
  • Clients should bring minimal personal items to their reservation.
  • We encourage clients to bring their own water bottles but will provide water upon request in single-use cups.

Temporary Business Changes:

  • Each treatment room will have many decor items removed that will be difficult to sanitize.
  • We will remove blankets and double up on sheets. This is a temporary change.
  • Face cradle covers will be one time use covers. This is a temporary change.
  • All retail will be pick-up or delivery only for now, and can be pre-ordered online.
  • Temporarily, we will only be offering treatments with reduced capacity and staggered appointments to allow for optimal social distancing. We hope that you have contact only with your therapist.
  • The re-opening is voluntary for our employees. All services will be offered in a reduced capacity, in staggered appointment times, and with necessary modifications.
  • We will open up additional shifts and invite more of our employees to return to work as we see that with limited employees we are able to maintain social distancing and safety. Each returning staff member must be trained and able to safely navigate the protocols before we will add additional staff members. This will be contingent upon feedback from employees and clients, our own and expert risk assessment of the spread and danger of the virus, and further monitoring of the COVID-19 cases here in MA. We will provide more detail as we know more.
If you would like to join the waitlist- you can do by sending us a quick email to look forward to seeing you soon.
With Hope &. Love,

  -------------------------------------   May 19th 2020 Dear Clients,  We plan to re-open- but the date is still unclear.  Even though Massachusetts has set out a plan that would allow Water House to reopen in three weeks if all goes well, I feel this is still unsafe for our staff and our clients.  At this time, we plan to reopen Water House 21 days after Phase 3 in Massachusetts if all of the criteria are met below which is July 13th at the earliest.  Thank you for being there for Water House. Please consider supporting us by maintaining your membership or purchasing a Victory Box or other wellness supplies. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.  Please read on for more information about our plans to reopen.  Warmly,  Kelly and All the staff at Water House Wellness May 19th 2020   ...   Unfortunately, even with the most rigorous sanitation protocols, enhanced client screening, and social distancing precautions, there is still risk of COVID-19 transmission involved, especially for the close contact that would occur between massage, acupuncture and skincare professionals and our patients and clients.    For this reason, we are choosing our restart date carefully.   Before we re-open, we need the following to happen in Massachusetts:

  • We are waiting for infections to decline, for contact tracing to take hold and be effective in Massachusetts and surrounding states and for isolation to be adequate in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

  We need to better understand COVID-19:

  • We need a better understanding of COVID-19 transmission, the long term health effects and if there is the ability to have immunity after exposure. While we know that transmission mostly occurs with contact with respiratory droplets, it’s unknown when a person becomes contagious and for how long. It is also not known if COVID-19 infection means immunity going forward. 
  • It is unclear what the contraindications are for patients that have had COVID-19 considering new information about clotting risks and stroke, and how to massage patients that may not know they have COVID-19 considering this risk. Massage is contraindicated for blood clots because “it may dislodge the clot which could send it through the circulation where it could lodge in the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism-a life threatening condition”. 
  • We can not effectively screen for COVID by taking temperatures because in asymptomatic people, absence of fever doesn’t indicate absence of infection. We will do  our best to pre-screen for symptoms- but all clients entering a building with other people are at risk of infection at this time.

  We need the following to happen in the building at Water House Wellness:

  • We need a clear understanding of treatment room/building ventilation, and what that means for virus transmission.
  • We need to create plexiglass barriers for desk and management staff that will be interacting with therapists. 
  • We need to hire full time cleaning staff to clean and sanitize each treatment room after use, common spaces and bathrooms as often as possible and at the end of each day. We need procedures and guidelines for each of the things.
  • We need to adjust the schedule to allow for high risk clients to come into the office first thing in the morning & a system to have clients book this time without violating their privacy.
  • We will be electing a staff break room to allow for staff to have staggered meal breaks and to have a space to store street clothes and personal items.
  • We are changing current procedures to ask all staff to change into work clothes (scrubs or something they can work in) during their shift and have that clothing removed at the end of the shift. This is because we must assume clothing could be contaminated from a commute to work and also from working inside the space. 
  • We are removing all materials that are porous and cannot be sanitized.
  • We are creating an online retail site to purchase wellness supplies and pantry supplies which will be available for pickup or delivery.
  • We are updating our schedule to allow for cleaning, a staggered arrival of clients and completely contactless payment. 
  • We will need clear communication and training for all staff who will be walking each client through a new process when they return. All training will need to be done online.
  • We are adding new hand sanitization stations, masks, gloves and (optional scrubs) for staff, new laundry procedures and new linens as well as UV-C and HEPA equipment.
  • We will have the ability for clients to purchase their own cupping kit or massage oil to bring to each treatment. 

  We need clarification legally & ethically:

  • It is not possible (or potentially ethical) at this point for us to ask our staff or our clients to self attest to being COVID-19 free before entering the office. We need clarification from legal and ethical stand points on how to gather information about risk & guidance on when it is safe for employees to work with clients.
  • It would be helpful to have all staff tested for antibodies. It is unclear if this is legal or ethical and what those procedures would be to follow through.  It is also unclear if antibodies are proof that a person has immunity.
  • It would be helpful to have all staff and clients opt-in to privacy supported, Voluntary Contact Tracing through an app if one becomes available that would alert you in the event someone tested positive for COVID-19 without violating that person’s privacy.

  We need PPE:

  • We must be able to provide our staff with optimal PPE and disinfecting products and at the moment they are expensive and in short supply. We must also be able to provide our clients with masks if they are unable to provide one for themselves. While we are able to secure a small amount of these products at this time, it is not ethical for Water House to gather the amount needed to be in full operation while there are still hospitals and clinics that need PPE more than we do.
  • We are securing UV-C sanitation equipment which can disinfect PPE and other supplies, but will not arrive until late June. 

  Please check in with this page about the Water House phases of re-opening. Yes! We will get our own phases.            

Support Fair Trade Massage as a  Water House Wellness member to receive a discount on massage every month. 

Membership is not required to receive work at Water House Wellness- it's our loyalty program. There is no sign up fee.

June 9th 2021: We are not longer testing our staff or requiring testing but encourage everyone to get tested often especially if there are symptoms or an upcoming event with multiple people who will be present at the event.
Covid-19 Control Plan MA Page 1
Covid 19 Control Plan Page 2

water house wellness 742 Massachusetts Ave Suite 3 Arlington MA 02476

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