COVID-19 & Your Health

March 16, 2020

COVID-19 & Your Health

To our loyal clients:

Since I started the Art of Massage in my Syracuse home nearly 25 years ago, our practice has been dedicated to helping our clients relax, restore and renew themselves. We care about your health and well-being, and we are grateful to you for the trust you place in us every time you walk through the doors of the Spa at 500.
Through wars and snowstorms and the occasional blackout, we have remained available to you, our loyal customers and clients.
The COVID-19 outbreak is a new kind of challenge to us, as we are sure it is for you and your loved ones. As a massage therapist and small business owner, I feel responsible both to our customers as well as to our staff and the families that depend on them.
The best advice we have received from the CDC is that the virus that causes COVID-19 is passed from one person to another through droplets that are expelled from the nose or mouth.
What we don't know with certainty is how long the virus can live on a given surface. And tragically, due to inadequate public health measures at all levels of government, we do not have the testing necessary to identify who among us is carrying the virus.
Our hygiene practices at the Spa already exceed industry standards. Our staff has been instructed to stay home if they have any sign of a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, or if they have been in close contact with anyone who has the virus. We have considered ways to modify our massage treatments to protect you, the client, as well as our massage therapists.
Sadly, I have concluded that there is no safe way to practice social distancing within the context of a massage session. Therefore, we will be closing the Spa this week, effective today, March 16. We hope to reopen in one week, but only if we can assure everyone that the pandemic will not find its way into the Spa. I cannot ethically allow our Spa, a place of healing and wellness, to be a vector for a disease that has the potential to overwhelm our health care system. We need to be especially vigilant to protect the elderly and others who are vulnerable.
As Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health has said, we would much rather be cautious and proven wrong later than to underreact and possibly contribute to spreading COVID- 19.
We will contact those of you who have existing appointments and offer you a chance to reschedule at a date in the not-too-distant future, or a refund. We know that the relationship between a massage therapist and client is a very special one. In our case, as a Spa we have been committed to rebuilding Syracuse and our neighborhood in many ways. You have been part of our success, and a part of our community efforts.
I believe that ours is a business that takes care of people. Each year we support more than 200 charities and schools through donations. We open our doors to organizations on a weekly basis that help and take care of vulnerable people. We have become the largest provider of services to veterans in Onondaga County.
All that to say that I do not take this step lightly.
If you are asking yourself, what can you do to help, I offer the same advice as many others wash your hands a lot, stay home if you can, and especially if you're sick. Watch out for your neighbors. Heed advice from reputable sources, such as the CDC.
But there is no denying that small businesses like ours are endangered. If you would like to make an investment in our future as The Spa at 500, here is an option: go to our website and buy someone a gift certificate. Use this code and save 20% (thank you!)
Our staff will also be going through a period of uncertainty. If you'd like to offer a tip to your favorite massage therapist, you can also do that on our website. Sarah, Laurie, Jennifer, Abigail and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Working together as a community we can make it through this crisis and come out stronger on the other end. We've always had your back. This time, you've got ours. And we appreciate it.

See you soon,

Ed Griffin-Nolan
The Art of Massage/Spa at 500
P.S. Any questions or concerns, please call us at:
315 475-9164

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The Spa at 500 is the home of the Art of Massage, Central New York’s premier massage therapy practice, founded in 1997.