Thermal cure establishments announced their gradual reopening between mid-June and July, but this announcement must be accompanied by optimal health measures to ensure the safety of staff and curists in this context of Covid-19. It is to better supervise the implementation of these strict health instructions that the National Academy of Medicine has issued some recommendations. This firstly emphasizes that the risks should not be underestimated because the hydrothermal treatments bring patients and professionals together in a hot and humid environment, conducive to survival and transmission of microorganisms by respiratory route and by direct or indirect contact.
The organization also recalls that the thermal cure, medical therapy that combines hydrothermal care and patient rehabilitation, annually supports more than half a million curists with chronic conditions. Among these, musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory, cutaneous, vascular, metabolic, psychosomatic, digestive and urinary disorders, mostly in “elderly people often suffering from multiple morbidities. However, patients should not give it up for several reasons, the first being that the virus is not intrinsically present. in mineral water or its derivatives gases, vapors and thermal muds.
In addition, “thermal medicine can contribute to management of certain sequelae of Covid-19 by support towards better efficiency of ventilatory mechanics, motor functions and by relieving stress resulting from a prolonged stay in intensive care, ”says the Academy of Medicine. This is why, taking these considerations into account, the latter is not opposed to their reopening, provided nevertheless that these establishments adopt strict measures when resuming their activities. Starting with a RT-PCR test for Covid-19 at any curist in the five days preceding the start of thermal treatments.
As in any other public place, compliance with barrier measures (physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand hygiene) is essential by all people present in all parts of the establishment. There is also the need to prepare various important arrangements within the thermal baths. For example, the Academy wishes that “for collective swimming pool treatments, subject to the rules for public swimming pools, a free area of 2m² is allocated toeach spa guest in the basin ”. The thermal mud used in some treatment programs should also be heated to 70 ° C for 30 minutes to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 before each use.
A resumption of activity in cooperation with the health authorities
The Academy of Medicine also recalls the importance for each of these establishments of providing daily individual linen, masks and “disposable” overshoes in the therapeutic zone.
This measure should be accompanied by sufficient renewal of the air to avoid any risk of aerosol contamination (fine particles in suspension). It is for this reason in particular that it is in favor of the “suspension of collective care in a misting atmosphere” until the end of the epidemic. Finally, cleaning and disinfection are required on a daily basis for the common areas and after each use for care areas and treatment stations.
Note that the implementation of these measures must be subject to the control of the regional health agencies (ARS): each station is invited to appoint a “Covid-19 referent” who will liaise with the ARS department responsible for health security. The National Council of thermal establishments indicates for its part that “these health measures will apply until their lifting by the regional health agencies, the thermal establishments will then be able to welcome the curists as before the health crisis. ” This one precise in a FAQ that patients who contracted SARS-CoV-2 can be received on the 8th day after lifting their confinement, if they no longer show any symptoms.