TODAYS UPDATE (June 5, 2020)

For our grads and practicing LMTs who also work with animals, here is some good news regarding licensing fees/renewals from AMTA-WA:

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary of Health extended all health profession license expiration dates for licenses up for renewal between April 1 and September 30, 2020. That also means that no CE needs to be reported until after September 30. At the upcoming Board of Massage meeting on June 5th, Board Members will be determining what changes, if any, to make in CE requirements during this challenging time. AMTA-WA has advocated for a removal of the requirement for 8 hours of in person hands-on CE through 2021. The number of CE hours would remain the same at 24, but without the requirement of any in person hands on training. Bottom line, we support flexibility in CE requirements during this time to include a total waiver through 2020. Also, please note that AMTA-WA is offering free on-line CE courses for its members.”

The CE deferment mentioned here pertains to WA LMTs only and does not replace the NBCAAM requirements for animal practitioners. Also, at this time, NBCAAM has not elected to allow remote hours to be substituted for hands-on hours requirements for new members or for Continuing Education, but is in conversations to determine feasibility.

In addition, here is a document from FSMTB providing guidelines for returning to practice. Although it pertains to massage therapy in people, it offers many reasonable measures that can be adapted to animal massage and bodywork practices. Please consider viewing and printing to help you and your clients create the best environment for continued practice.

FSMTB Guidelines for Re-Opening

JUNE 1st Proclamation

It was with great relief today that many Washington State licensed massage therapists learned that their services may once again be offered after widespread shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.  We are happy to share the news and look forward to everyone getting back in touch!

Office of Health Professions banner

The Department of Health has received questions about whether all massage therapy qualifies as a health care service that could be resumed statewide under Proclamation 20-24.1.

Proclamation 20-24.1 allows non-urgent health care services to resume statewide, subject to the infection control and other requirements outlined in the proclamation.

The department has clarified that under Proclamation 20-24.1, a licensed massage therapist is providing a “health care service” and this service can be provided at any location statewide, including in counties still in Phase 1 under the Governor’s Safe Start Washington plan, as long as the requirements in the proclamation and in the laws governing massage therapy are met. This proclamation replaces the most recent COVID-19 practice alert for massage that the department provided on April 27, 2020. The department will not be providing guidance on implementing the Governor’s proclamation for the massage profession.

If massage therapy is provided at a location where other kinds of services have normally been provided, the only services that can be provided at that location are massage therapy and any other services that are permitted in the county under the Safe Start Washington plan, in compliance with the guidelines issued for the particular service. For example, in a county that is still in Phase 1, a day spa may reopen to provide massage therapy services, but not to provide facials, manicures, sauna, hot tub, or relaxation lounge services, as examples.

To find out what phase your county is in, please visit www.coronavirus.wa.gov.