CAMTC COVID-19 Bulletin

08/26/2020  Medical Massage as an Essential Service

CAMTC COVID-19 Bulletin #33

Dear CAMTC Certificate Holders:

CAMTC was recently informed that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has broadened the definition of ”medical” massage services. While the State previously stated that massage was allowed as an essential service only for those “working for a physician or chiropractor,” they have now expanded that definition.

According to communications from the CDPH, Essential Services Inquiries: “Medical massage (massage done based on a referral from a doctor or chiropractor) is permitted indoors at this time. Therapeutic massage is not permitted indoors in counties on the monitoring list for three consecutive days where personal services are not permitted.” Additionally, the State further clarified this statement by stating that: “Medical massage (based on a referral from a doctor or chiropractor) is permitted indoors, even if the county is on the monitoring list,” and that “medical massage is considered an essential service.”

If you need further clarification as to what qualifies as “medical massage,” please send those inquiries to:

Since counties can impose stricter requirements than the State, please check with your county to see your local requirements. County specific links may be found by going to: and clicking on your specific county.

Take Care and Stay Healthy,


Covid-19 Liability Release Form

COVID-19 Health Alert


  • Widespread person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in California.
  • People with COVID-19 can spread the illness even when they feel or look well.
  • High risk of severe COVID-19 illness in people older than 60 years or with underlying health conditions.
  • No method to completely remove the risk of person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in a massage setting. Many services massage therapists provide are considered non-essential and most are considered non- urgent. No in-person appointment is risk-free, even if the patient and massage therapist appear well.
  • To help control the spread of COVID-19, treatment should be limited to patients with a clear and documented urgent medical need. While the proclamation allows massage therapists to continue providing essential health services, they are not required to do so. Massage therapists should weigh their own and their patients’ health risk when deciding whether to provide in-person services.

According to California State Health and Public safety and California Massage Therapy Council, medical massage is an essential service:

  • At HQWC, we are a medical based alternative health care center. As an alternative health care provider, we are an important supporting team for professional medical members of the healthcare system.
  • The primary treatment goal at our center is to provide ‘precision’ alternative health services to those who suffer from chronic pain and urgent in need of natural way to relief pain. Working hand-in-hand with physicians, our certified medical massage therapists aim to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the patients.
  • During the time of coping with COVID-19 Virus, to help control the spread of COVID-19, all treatment sessions at our center are limited to patients with a clear and documented urgent medical need and emergency cases only, where treatment is urgently medically necessary.
  • Currently, our center only provides services only to patients with urgent medical issues. Examples include, but are not limited to, lymphatic overwhelm issues, severe whiplash, acute pain control; and orthopedic and plastic/cosmetic post-operative recovery massage for patient in needs. Without any exception, before patients can get services at our center, all patients will carefully undergo COVID-19 Health Screen and all patients must sign COVID-19 Liability Waiver/Release Form.
  • If patients have symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or COVID-19 symptoms, or if patients have a fever or respiratory symptoms, we will not provide treatment and will be referred out to get proper medical care immediately


  • To comply with the practice social distancing of six feet in waiting rooms and other areas of the Practice, we only take patients by appointment only and nobody is allowed to wait in the waiting room.
  • We practice complete cleaning and heavenly disinfection/ sanitization between patients, wipe down and clean all of our equipment down with alcohol rub and heat.
  • We have familiarized ourselves with standard, contact and droplet precautions.
  • Ensure that massage therapists have the following personal protective equipment (PPE) and are familiar with its use: facemask (surgical mask with ear loops or mask with ties), eye protection (for example, goggles or disposable face shield that covers front and sides of face), gown, and clean, nonsterile gloves.
  • Alternatively, to a gown or other covering, massage therapists can change clothes after each massage.
  • Provide a face mask or cloth face covering for each patient to wear during the entire treatment.


  • Between all patients, clean with soap and water or other cleaning agent to disinfect surfaces touched by the patient. This includes: the massage table’s face cradle, table legs and bolsters, and bathrooms, if used by the patient.
  • Use clean linens, including blankets, for each patient. Launder linens in hot water and dry
  • Throughout the day, wipe high-touch areas (doorknobs, handrails, etc.) with a disinfectant.
  • Use EPA-approved disinfectant from List N along with CDC guidance for cleaning and
  • Diluted household bleach (at least 1,000 ppm sodium hypochlorite: 5 tablespoons [1/3 cup]bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) can be used to disinfect on surfaces not damaged by bleach.

The virus causing coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), emerged in December 2019 and has since spread around the world, causing a global pandemic. Eighty percent of cases are mild, but severe disease and deaths are more common in the elderly (older than 60 years) and in those with underlying health conditions. Health experts are concerned that increasing transmission in our state and an increase in severe disease will limit the ability of our health care system to provide urgent care to all who require it.