Did you know that of the 48 positive test results to date in our Hawaiian Islands, 37 of them originated with Hawaii residents returning home?
In other words, the majority of our cases are residents who returned home from a trip. At this point, many students are and will continue to come home from schools across the US and abroad due to school closures.
There are others who will be returning from essential travel for the military or the government for example.
It is important for all travelers to monitor their health for 14 days after traveling and to avoid exposing others and stay at home.
Let's all do our part to stay calm and avoid fostering stigma and anger in our community. Just as it would be wrong to call this the "Chinese virus", it is wrong to blame travelers or tourists for all cases of Corona Virus.
Thank you for your assistance in increasing understanding during this rapidly changing situation.
Testing supplies, including the swabs used to collect specimens are in critically short supply nationwide.
Per the HI DOH and the CDC: "Mildly ill patients without risk factors for severe disease from COVID-19 infection should be encouraged to stay home and contact their PCP for guidance."
At this time, my guidance to you is:
social distancing and self isolation: if we all act as if we have this virus and do our best to minimize spread, this will minimize the spread.
if you have cold or flu symptoms: treat your cold and flu symptoms the way you normally would: fluids, rest, cough drops, Vitamin C, chicken soup.
Minimize contact with other people,
wipe down or spray with lysol: all surfaces you touch such as door knobs, sink taps and toilets, refrigerator and cabinet doors, and so on.
Reasons to call me or seek care at an Emergency Room:
Shortness of breath
extremely ill: too weak to care for yourself
If you are immunocompromised for some reason: cancer treatment, HIV positive, prolonged oral steroid use. Please contact me for an appointment
At this time, I am minimizing face to face appointments to only those that have to be in Person. Otherwise I am utilizing telemedicine.
COVID 19 UPDATE
Aloha to all my patients and future patients.
At this time, it is important to minimize unnecessary excursions and interactions with other people.
In order to help with slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, I would like to recommend the following:
If you are sick, stay home.
Monitor yourself and family for fever and other symptoms of COVID -19, remember that young people are less likely to show signs of illness and are more likely to have milder symptoms. This means that this demographic is more likely to be unknowingly spreading the infection.
If you are very sick, reach out to me, or consider a trip to the Urgent Care or the ED if necessary.
FAQ’S as of 3/17/2020
Those who are ill with a fever or cough, have recently left an area having widespread community transmission of COVID-19, or have had prolonged close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home and avoid contact with others except for seeking medical care. If they need medical care, they should call ahead to their doctor’s office or an emergency room to let them know about their travel history.
Note that it is not possible for us to test for COVID-19 just because you want to be tested, or even if we think it might be helpful. There are specific circumstances when the test is allowed to be done. Please do not go to the Emergency Department simply to request a test for COVID-19. The Emergency Department is for patients who are sick and in need of emergency medical care.
Additional Information from Wilcox and Kauai Medical Clinic
(which I am applying to my own practice):
Guidance for Patients with Clinic Appointments
If you are sick but have an appointment to see a doctor for something else (like a check-up) we will need to change your visit for a time when you are feeling better. Please call us so we can make a new appointment for you.
If you’d like us to check you because you are sick, call your primary care provider. You may be able to get checked by phone, or get advice through MyChart: create an e-visit.
We are following the advice of the experts at the CDC and the Hawaii Department of Health who tell us that people who are mildly ill should stay home unless they need help for that illness.
FYI: Visitor Restrictions
Starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 13, all HPH medical centers will implement visitor restrictions for all inpatient areas. These restrictions are the same at all 4 medical centers and include the following:
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 now identified in Hawaii, we are taking measures to monitor visitors to our facilities and ensure appropriate infection control measures are followed upon entry.
Effective Tuesday, March 10, access to Wilcox Medical Center:
Stay healthier and follow the prevention tips recommended by the Hawaii Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed below to help protect yourself and our community.
For additional information, there are resources available at https://www.hawaiipacifichealth.org/coronavirus
Hawaii Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Collins is interested in the health and well being of the individual, community, and planet.