Address from Hi-Spa President Cecilia Hercik:
On behalf of the Hawaii Spa Association, as President I’d like to kindly address concerns related to COVID-19, aka the coronavirus outbreak.
Within our interconnected network of facilities, companies, management and members across the Hawaiian Islands, we strive to be in contact with each other to control any further spread of the virus, along with making sure to stay connected and informed within our industry. I’d like to bring up that first and foremost, sanitation has always been a number one daily priority for those within the spa industry, not something that is only taken seriously during times of apprehension and distress. The Wellness Industry has always had strict sanitation standards, not just for the guests we provide for but for our employees as well, and each employee that treats with guests is a highly trained professional with the utmost regard for cleanliness and health.
At Hi-Spa we’re all making sure to do our part to provide the most we can to our members and to everyone affected. If you read further you’ll find incredible sanitation protocols, tips and useful websites from our Information Specialist Shawn Hallum, comforting words of wisdom from Treasurer Darryll Leiman, and helpful connections provided by Vice President Jennifer Holzworth.
It’s important that we take the time to educate ourselves as much as possible without being swept into the mass unease stirred by other forms of media exposure.
In these times of distress, remember that your health is ultimately within your control, and stress and anxiety also play an enormous part on the state of your immune system. So from your local team of wellness professionals, remember to breathe, relax, and find calm in the moments you can while taking those extra steps to maintain your health and wellbeing.
Mahalo, Cecilia Hercik & Hi-Spa Board
Address from Hi-Spa Vice President Jennifer Holzworth:
Aloha Members & Team,
I am proud to say that we of the Hi-Spa Board not only prioritize the health and protection within our own facilities, but we also feel strongly that we need to be setting an example for all spas and wellness centers out there. In addition to this letter the Board has created to address the concerns of COVID-19 to our members, we have also included helpful resources and best practices to observe and use in your own facilities or homes.
The changes we can be making don’t have to be earth shattering, they can be small directional shifts that help everybody take small steps in the right direction towards maintaining our health; for example we have been working to adjust the verbiage of our local cancellation policy to state something along the lines of: “Please be prepared that if you are experiencing any flu like symptoms, your services may need to be rescheduled for a later time.” Simple words like this added to the health waiver at sign in can make all the difference in the world.
While stress is high and the days are rough, we will continue to work hard to be as genuine and kind as possible during these troubling times. Rosa Say, one of our strongest resources, gives us some valuable words of advice to those of us who are in a place of management on truly Managing with Aloha during this state of unrest.
Mahalo for your support, and we hope this letter provides insight and perspective to all who need it.
Jennifer Holzworth & Hi-Spa Board
Address from Hi-Spa Treasurer Darryll Leiman:
Aloha Hi-Spa members:
We are certainly living in unprecedented times…. Who would ever think that cruise ships around the world could be quarantined at sea, the sudden drop in air travel, hotel occupancies down internationally, double-digit drops in the stock market and whole countries in a precautionary lockdown all because of a tiny virus causing so much angst worldwide.
It is especially now that we in the spa industry need to be a beacon of calm and grounded-ness, an island of tranquility in this sea of uncertainty that surrounds us. As we watch and monitor the situation, we need to keep focused on our mission, revisit our protocols and procedures, and continue doing what we always do. Safety, health and wellbeing is the goal we strive for every day. We always sanitize, wash our hands, keep our areas immaculately clean, and offer the simple oshibori or cleansing treatment. That is what we are trained to do, and that is what we always do. We need to set the example, keep focused and remain the professionals we are all trained to be, taking care of the wellbeing of our guests and team members.
As Rudyard Kipling might have said….If you can keep your head when all others around you are losing theirs…..you are a “spa” leader, my colleagues.
Please note too, our scheduled “Practice What You Preach” event for Spa Directors has been put on hold until such time as we feel it is safe and appropriate to hold such an event. We will reinstate as soon as possible.
Thank you, Darryll Leiman & Hi-Spa Board
Address from Hi-Spa Information Specialist Shawn Hallum:
Please review the updated in-house protocols to be used within your facilities to help protect against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hi-Spa COVID-19 Protocols
- Any employee experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever, sore throat, persistent cough) should not come to work. Employees are reminded to follow the protocols for calling out sick.
- Employees should avoid contact with sick people, maintaining a six-foot distance whenever possible.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue.
- All employees to wash hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds (or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol) after any interaction with a guest or employee. Therapists must include washing forearms (to elbow).
- All employees should minimize touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
- Therapists refrain from handshake during welcome/departure with guest. Utilize a welcome gesture or bow instead.
- Therapists must verbalize to guests that they have washed their hands prior to the commencement of service and that the treatment room has been sanitized in accordance with industry standards and CDC
- All employees must wear disposable gloves when handling towels, linens and other items that go in the laundry. Dispose of gloves after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. If possible, do not shake dirty laundry (this will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air).
- Offer every guest the opportunity to wash their hands prior to the commencement of treatment
- Confidently respond to any questions or concerns you receive from guests about the actions we’re taking to keep everyone healthy, including our protocols for sanitization.
- Guests who have health conditions for which spa services are contraindicated will be rescheduled when they have fully recovered. This includes guests who disclose that they are feeling ill or if a potentially contagious illness is apparent to employees. Obvious symptoms include coughs, fever, and shortness of breath.
- Massage therapists and estheticians should continue to follow our standards for sanitization, which include disinfection of tables and equipment after each use.
- Fitness Centers should schedule a full time person to non-stop sanitize all the equipment, yoga mats, foam rollers, blocks, weight bars, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandballs, etc.
- Beauty Salon should allocate extra time between services to sanitize the entire station ( instruments, scissors, combs, flat irons, brushes, chair, capes, counters, etc).
COVID-19 Facility/Equipment Sanitation Procedures
- All surfaces susceptible to human contact must be cleaned after each guest use or every three hours, whichever comes first. These surfaces include, but are not limited to:
- All door handles to all interior and exterior doors o Lounge chairs
- Water dispensers
- Sinks and countertops
- Locker doors
- Shower controls
- Sink controls
- iPad surface
- Telephone ear piece, mouth piece and buttons on Computer keyboard(s)
- Receptionist countertops
- Employee Microwave and Refrigerator handles
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants should be used, following all label precautions.
- For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
- Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
- Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
- Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted as follows:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Make sure to wear disposable gloves when cleaning.
- Launder items as appropriate in accordance with our laundry vendor’s protocols. Note that dirty linens from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items, so there is no increased risk of transmission when the laundry is washed properly.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, line the hampers with a bag that is either disposable or can be laundered.
In addition, we encourage you to proactively educate yourself on any new developments. We also found the following links that you may find informative and helpful:
- The CDC’s guide, “Protect Yourself and Your Family”
- Article on effective handwashing: “Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus & Other Pathogens”
- World Health Organization’s “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19 Outbreak” guide, with information on self- protection, travel advice and more.
- The CDC’s guide, “Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities”
- California Massage Council’s “What You Need to Know about Coronavirus” and list of recommendations.
- Environmental Protection Agency’s list of approved sanitizers to use against coronavirus.
Mahalo and safe and healthy regards,
Shawn Hallum & Hi-Spa Board