Blue Heron Chiropractic is still a safe place to get treated, even while COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in Portland. We are still paying attention to Covid-19 infections, including the new JN.1 variant12, which now makes up between 20% and 50% of the cases in the United States. Since less than 17% of persons in Oregon are vaccinated, and since folks over 60, immune compromised or those with comorbid (other) conditions can still get significantly ill, it is important to take precautions when visiting any health care facility. Here’s why and how we are handling it. We also offer some tips on how to stay safe and healthy when coming in for an appointment to a masked, vaccinated clinic.
We do hear a lot about how folks are considering themselves “done” with Covid. They “already had it, so they are immune, and the Pandemic is over”, right? Not true. First, with this rapidly mutating virus, you can get a different variations of the virus one day after recovering from the other. The Pandemic wont be over until everyone in every country of the world has been exposed and developed some immune response. We are certainly not there yet.
The JN.1 variant is a new and highly mutated but not so symptomatically different version of Covid-19. It has basically all of the original possible Covid-19 symptom possibilities, including loss of taste or smell. You can actually have one or all. This incoming wave of infections could be just second to the country’s biggest previous infection burst when Omicron hit. It is expected to peak in Oregon and Washington right at Christmas. Other states may see a crest in January. Speaking from a population-based public health perspective, this virus is still impacting our population. We have had patients scheduled to come in for appointments call and say they were knocked out after a trip to a bar or a concert or a family party, and they cancel appointments and tell us they went to the hospital. Imagine having back pain as well Covid headaches, sore throat and coughing all at the same time?
At Blue Heron Chiropractic, the staff is vaccinated and boosted and we are wearing masks even though you don’t have to. In addition to JN.1, there are actually several respiratory virus flying around right now, and so rather than court community infections, we’ll just mask even if you don’t have to. It’s no big deal. You can mask if you like, but we will also be running HEPA-13 Air filters in every room. Getting knocked out by a virus keeps you from coming in for chronic pain treatment, adjustments, shock wave therapy, myofascial release and physical therapy exercise. This can set you back weeks on top of weeks and compound your pain. For a closer look at what happens to a treatment plan when a chronic pain patient gets Covid 19, check it out here. At the clinic, we are going to keep you safe so you can come in and we can be here for you.
Get vaccinated and boosted. The best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get fully vaccinated and receive a booster shot when eligible. Vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available. They can prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, even against new variants3. Current research updates do say that this new variant does not require a new or different booster, although People age 65 and older are eligible for another Covid-19 booster shot after 4 months.
Yes. It’s hard to deny masking as a safeguard to illness. Wear a high-quality mask or respirator when you can. In a crowd or on an elevator (even a escalator at an airport), it’s not a bad idea. Having a readily accessible Mask can help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets that may contain the virus. The CDC recommends wearing masks or respirators that provide the best fit, protection, and comfort for you. Respirators, such as N95s or KN95s, offer the highest level of protection. Medical masks, such as surgical masks, provide the next highest level of protection. Cloth masks provide little or no protection45. If you are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or have contact with someone who is, you should wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection5.
Different health care facilities may have different policies and procedures regarding COVID-19 prevention. It’s easy to follow ours. The front desk is simply going to ask you if you have been exposed to anyone with Covid or any respiratory illness symptoms in the last week. We will make a note, but we already have our bases covered. While maskes are optional, you may be offered a mask if you are ill, coughing, or have a fever. It is important to know if you have any comorbid additional health issues up front – like diabetes, obesity, auto-immune or cancer, which helps us with scheduling, since we have the ability to keep people apart. Feel free to tell us! If you have any questions or concerns, call ahead or ask a staff member.
Always practice good hygiene and physical distancing. We do spread people apart at the clinic. Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after you handle those escalator railings. In our clinic, we do have a policy of disinfecting our surfaces with special anti-viral products like Cavicide, not just the same old sprays. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth especially after opening public door handles. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow. Stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. Avoid crowded or poorly ventilated spaces. If you feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and contact your primary health care provider5. Call us at the clinic to let us know what’s going on.
By following these tips, we can all help reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 when visiting a masked, vaccinated clinic. Remember, we are all in this together, and we can all do our part to keep ourselves and our communities healthy. For more information and updates on COVID-19, feel free to ask us and also visit the CDC website5. Keep your appointment with us and let’s discuss more in the treatment room. Contact the clinic for a session to get evaluated if you have back or chest wall pain after coughing. (( APPOINTMENT LINK ))
A mask is not required. However, including with the latest variants, a lot of people are still getting sick and getting knocked out for a week or more. As of this time (December/January 2023/2024, staff is going to be masked. While the Doctor is going to mask for your session, your mask is definitely optional. Staff is always vaccinated and boosted, and so even if we get this, we won’t be gone long and we can get back to caring for you. We remain proactive for folks who are immune compromised, have “Long Covid”, or need special considerations. A patient can wear their own mask at any time – and If you would like a mask and don’t have one, we can provide it – but again, masking is optional. If you have flu-like symptoms, are sneezing or coughing or blowing, we may provide you with a mask, so we can continue to serve you better; feel free to mention this to us when you call in to confirm your appointment. You can access Chiropractic safely and securely at Blue Heron Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center, with Dr. Dana Sibilla, DC DABCO FIANM.