Iowa COVID-19 Update Correction

ABMP, ASCP, AHP, and ANP sent an email this week regarding back-to-practice dates for massage therapists, estheticians, and cosmetologists in the state of Iowa. Since sending that email, we are appreciative of those of you who responded seeking further clarification. We were able to talk with the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy Chair and the Board Administrator and sought clarification with the Governor’s office, as the state’s April 27, 2020, Proclamation of Disaster Emergency is confusing at best.

According to the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy, and confirmed with the Governor’s office, salons (cosmetology, esthetics, nail technology, and manicuring and pedicuring), barbershops, medical spas, and massage therapy establishments may reopen on May 16, 2020.

There was confusion with the Proclamation ((, as Sections Three and Five are in conflict. Section 5 appears to specifically omit massage therapy and medical massage from opening on May 16, 2020, in the following counties: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuqe, Fayette, Henry Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Louisa, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama, Washington or Woodbury. We cannot confirm why that paragraph is included in the Proclamation.

The state’s position is that salons, barbershops, medical spas, and massage therapy establishments may reopen on May 16, 2020. As you are all aware, this is a very fluid situation and all dates are subject to change at any time.

If you are returning to work, we suggest reviewing the comprehensive series of back-to-practice guidelines we assembled that are packed with ideas and precautions for practitioners to consider. We encourage you to start with the summary here for massage therapists (, here for estheticians (, and here for cosmetologists (, which provides a good synopsis. We address how to prepare and sanitize your treatment rooms, safe client-practitioner interaction, in-session protection protocols, post-session sanitation and best practices, and business tips from marketing to cancellation policies. We hope the guidelines prove to be informative and helpful, and that they lessen the uneasiness during this uncertain time.

We appreciate your patience. Stay safe and well.


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