Public Health Update

We’ve been getting some questions about our take on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been following the news, monitoring trusted sources of information, and considering how it affects us here at Sarana.

We want to do what we can to ensure that Sarana is a safe place for as many as possible, but we also rely on you to be careful and considerate.


Take care of yourself!

Acupuncture is great for supporting the immune system and reducing the effects of stress, which can reduce our ability to withstand pathogens.

To stay healthy and keep your immune system strong, we encourage everyone to follow the basic guidelines of self care: get plenty of rest and exercise, hydrate, and eat a balanced diet. If you are feeling healthy, there is no reason to cancel your regular activities.

If you are immune-compromised due to medication or another health issue, please follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Remember that washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing (elbow cough/sneeze or with a tissue) and refraining from touching your eyes/nose/mouth are the most helpful prevention measures you can take.

Please use hand sanitizer as soon as you arrive at the clinic. We are placing some on our front desk for this purpose.

Please wash your hands throughly before/after your session, after using the restroom or sneezing/coughing/blowing your nose. We have a sink with hand soap available in each restroom, and you are also welcome to use our kitchen area sink in the back of the clinic near the accessible restroom.

Take care of others: policy on when NOT to come to Sarana:

Do not come in for acupuncture, cupping or massage if you have:

  • fever and/or chills/sweating
  • acute gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea/vomiting)
  • persistent expressive respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or profuse runny nose, no matter the cause

Please be fever-free for at least 48 hours before coming in to Sarana.

If you arrive for your treatment at our clinic with any of these symptoms, to protect others, you may be asked to skip your session and to come back once your symptoms have receded. Please also avoid coming in if your family/household member is sick with the above symptoms.

Our staff and volunteers are advised to follow the above guidelines if they feel unwell, and as usual, we will post any last-minute schedule changes on our social media and/or on our Practitioner Schedule page.

Steps we take:

Linens: Please fold your sheet down over your blankets after your treatment if you were coughing or sneezing during your treatment.

We will remove these for laundering and replace them with clean linens right away.

If you prefer, we invite you to bring your own sheets or blankets if you choose and place them over our linens before your session.

We use alcohol-based hand sanitizer and follow CDC recommendations on hand washing. We have hand sanitizer bottles placed throughout the clinic at our needling stations and the front office.

We wipe down/disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly (door knobs, light switches, sinks/faucets, toilet flush handles, call bells, front office surfaces, etc.)

To minimizes shared surfaces, we have temporarily discontinued offering snacks in our waiting room, so please make sure you have eaten before you come in for acupuncture. Tea and water are still available, but please wash/sanitize your hands before helping yourself to those and place your used cup in the bins provided.

Masks: If you are sneezing or have a cough, even if it is due to allergies/not contagious, we will ask you to wear a mask to help others feel at ease.

IMPORTANT: Our mask supply is currently very limited due to the recent mask hoarding phenomenon among the general public. Therefore, we will only offer masks to those who did not bring their own and are showing some symptoms (such as due to allergies, etc) when we feel it necessary for increased safety and reduced anxiety of others in the space. Just to reiterate — if your symptoms are persistent and expressive (cannot be controlled during your acupuncture session) and/or you had a fever in the last 48 hours, please do not come in until you are better. Wearing of masks by healthy people has not been shown to be effective to prevent illness, so there is no need to wear a mask if you do not have symptoms. If you prefer to wear a mask in a public space such as Sarana, feel free to bring your own.

If you have recently stocked up on masks and have extras to donate to Sarana, we would gratefully accept them.

Our masks are not N95-rated; they are standard medical setting disposable masks intended to prevent droplets from spreading. Our “eye cover” cloths can also be used to cover your nose/mouth if you are symptomatic (please put those in the white laundry bin after use).

And remember, not all coughs are contagious. We treat lots of folks who have chronic coughing from asthma, allergies, general dryness, and other conditions.

This time is a good reminder of how interconnected we are and a chance for cooperation and supporting each other through this situation. Fear and discrimination lead to bad health outcomes. Stigma makes people less likely to come forward, seek help, volunteer critical information and ask questions. Let us commit to being there for our community: check in with loved ones/vulnerable folks in your life, do not engage in xenophobia, stay informed, avoid unreliable/sensationalist news sources. And support local and national efforts to enact universal health care, because if some of us are left behind, we’re all at risk.


City of Berkeley Coronavirus Page
Alameda County Public Health Dept
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization

We are paying close attention to updates and encourage you to stay vigilant in your self-care practices. Common sense and basic cold and flu season hygiene are the best resources at this point.

We appreciate your support!

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