July 30th update: To help protect our medically vulnerable clients, we are asking you to wear a mask whenever you interact with us and consider holding your appointment outdoors regardless of your vaccination status. Masks continue to be required when meeting with us indoors.
We are committed to providing you with a caring and loving experience while keeping everyone safe. This goes beyond you and us – it’s a matter of protecting our community as a whole, and especially our most vulnerable populations.
Our practices continue to evolve in response to 1) fluctuating levels of COVID transmission on Oahu 2) advancements in scientific understanding of how COVID is spread and 3) the vaccination rate in our community. As new information is available, you can expect our response to change.
Here’s what we currently know:
- SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID19, is mainly spread through the air in two ways. The first and most common way is “droplet” transmission, which face coverings greatly reduce. The second is aerosol transmission, mainly when the virus lingers in the air in poorly ventilated spaces.
- Asymptomatic carriers of the virus are common, so even people who are feeling well may be unaware they are infected and contagious
- SARS-CoV-2 is not commonly spread through contact with infected surfaces, although it is possible.
- Not all face coverings are equally effective. Bandanas and balaclavas do little to halt virus spread. Masks with valves protect the wearer, but not the people around them if they themselves are infected. Both the mouth and the nose must be covered to prevent virus transmission.
- It is safer to meet in small groups and to mix households as little as possible.
- Ventilation matters! Outdoors is best; indoor environments can be made safer by increasing air circulation by opening windows, turning on fans, etc. The larger the room, the better.
- The duration of the interaction also matters. Shorter is better.
Please keep in mind that while you may be healthy and sticking to social distancing guidelines overall, our doctor visits dozens of households every month. This makes our adherence to best practices at every visit crucial to protecting our more vulnerable clients.
What we are currently requiring:
- We must stick to the current legal limits on the size of gatherings as set forth in the City and County’s reopening strategy. At the time of this writing, that is ten people (including the doctor) indoors and 25 outdoors. There must be adequate room to maintain social distancing (i.e. several people cannot be crammed into a small room or tight space).
- We cannot visit your home if anyone present or residing in the home is currently under quarantine due to a COVID19 diagnosis or exposure to someone positive for SARS-CoV-2; is experiencing unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath; or is awaiting the result of a COVID19 test.
- Indoors, face coverings must be worn at all times.
- Outdoors, face coverings are optional. The doctor will wear a mask to protect your health.
In addition to the above we recommend:
- Host appointments outdoors when possible.
- If a safe and appropriate outdoor space is not available, please use the biggest room possible, open windows, and use fans to increase air circulation as much as you can. We can also explore alternatives such as the beach or a park.
- Children are welcome to attend if they will wear a mask and an adult is present to ensure they adhere to proper social distancing.
- For more suggestions we recommend this easy to use, interactive risk assessment tool developed by the Center for Digital Health.
What you can expect from us
- Our team is fully vaccinated. Any team members who develop symptoms (or residing with someone who has symptoms) will not be allowed to come into contact with clients.
- If you want us to use more restrictive procedures (greater social distancing, for example), we are happy to do what you need to feel comfortable.
Tips to make your experience better
- For outdoor appointments, find a sheltered spot under a tree, a covered lanai, or carport.
- If you do not have a suitable place in your own yard or around your home, would another location such as a park or other public space work?
- Flies and other annoying insects can be discourged by increasing air circulation – a portable fan is perfect (our doctor carries one if you don’t have one).
- Consider the temperature and noise level in your neighborhood at various times of day when scheduling. Evening appointments are limited and may require more advance planning.
We appreciate you helping to keep Oahu healthy and safe!