Is it safe to get a tattoo during COVID-19?
On May 15th, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey lifted the stay-at-home order allowing many businesses to gradually open back up. On May 16th, 2020, we re-opened the doors of Sentient Tattoo Collective. The CDC has offered Arizona businesses some basic guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 as we get back to a new normal. We combined those guidelines with our OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Certification learnings to minimize the risk of transmission.
Your safety has always been our top priority. We have implemented several safety precautions above and beyond our usual sanitary procedures to follow CDC guidelines and the Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations. Here’s what we’re doing to prevent the spread:
- Client-only appointments
- At this time, we are not taking walk-ins. Prior to the pandemic, it was ok to walk into Sentient Tattoo Collective any time between 12pm and 8pm to see if an artist was available to tattoo. Now, we ask all clients to make an appointment in advance so we can control the number of people in the shop at any given time. Although the CDC has loosened restrictions around the gatherings of people, we are staggering schedules and have closed our lobby area to limit any non-essential persons at our location.
- OSHA certification, hand hygiene, and hand sanitizer
- We held ourselves to the highest sanitary standards even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen certifications are always renewed annually because tattoo artists have regular exposure to blood or other potentially infection materials (OPIM). To be Bloodborne Pathogens compliant, a tattoo shop must participate in awareness training, implement documentation and safety controls to protect artists from exposure, and train a compliance officer. Our artists have an exposure control plan to prevent and handle exposure incidents, and maintain workplace controls to minimize potential exposure.
- The CDC has noted that hand hygiene plays a critical role in stopping the spread. We have a handwashing station available and provide hand sanitizer to all clients. Our hand sanitizer meets the CDC recommendations of at least 60% alcohol.
- Face coverings are required
- Although Governor Doug Ducey has not issued a statewide face coverings requirement, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell recently issued an emergency proclamation to require that all individuals within the City of Tempe wear face coverings in public to protect from contracting COVID-19. We have been requiring our artists and clients to wear face masks since we re-opened on May 16th and will continue to do so. If you don’t have a face covering to bring with you to your appointment, we will provide one for you. You can find the full proclamation from Mayor Mitchell here.
- Social distancing
- We may not be able to social distance between artist and client but we are diligent about wearing face coverings and maintaining excellent hand hygiene. We can, however, social distance between other clients and other artists. Because we are asking only clients to come to their appointments, we are able to stay physically distanced during your appointment.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well
- The Arizona Department of Health Services asks individuals to “stay at home when you are sick;” we are asking our tattoo clients to do the same. We will not tattoo anyone who is not feeling well or showing signs of COVID-19. Our cancellation policy is 48 hours prior to your appointment but if you are having COVID-19 symptoms, we will certainly take that into consideration when rescheduling your appointment.
Whether you choose to get tattooed at Sentient Tattoo Collective or another local tattoo shop in the Tempe area, we want to make sure you are taken care of. We encourage our clients to schedule a consultation in advance of their appointment to see the shop they are considering for their tattoo appointment. The consultation will give you time to ask questions, get to know your artist, and see first-hand the cleanliness of the tattoo shop. Ultimately, the decision is up to you as to where to get tattooed!
Stay healthy, and stay inked, Tempe!