Attention: all new consultations with Dr. Schlesinger will be conducted virtually. Contact us to find out more!
As the world and our local community react with increasing concern about the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Dr. Schlesinger and his team have been monitoring the situation closely. We understand that things feel concerning, and we want to do our part to ensure that you have all of the information you need to be socially responsible and protect yourself.
The latest update on COVID-19 in Hawaii
We are keeping a close eye on COVID-19 updates from the CDC, WHO, and local officials. As of March 16, 2020, 7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Hawaii. All of these cases are travel-related, and residents who have been diagnosed were exposed outside of Hawaii—and all of these individuals are isolated at home or a dedicated facility.
Urgent Care Hawaii facilities, Wilcox Medical Center, and Hawaii Pacific Health are now offering drive-up COVID-19 testing for patients who are presenting with symptoms.
Patients are encouraged not to go to the emergency room or their doctor’s offices without being directed to do so. This testing service has been designed to reduce exposure after a phone interview determining your eligibility. Not everyone can be tested. Facilities are following current testing recommendations from the CDC.
While we are fortunate in Hawaii to have identified positive cases and reacted immediately, it’s important to remember that a greater number of people may have come in contact with the virus. Because of this, it is highly recommended to practice social distancing at this time in an effort to help minimize the risk of spreading.
To that end, a number of institutions have closed or adjusted hours, including:
- Spring break has been extended through March 27th for all public and charter schools in Hawaii.
- Large, crowded gatherings and public events are recommended to be canceled.
- All Apple, Patagonia, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Lululemon retail stores are closed, among other national chains.
- Many public events and expos have been postponed.
What Dr. Schlesinger & his team are doing to keep you safe
As a plastic surgeon focusing on cosmetic procedures, Dr. Schlesinger does not typically work with patients who are sick. That being said, we still strive to maintain a high level of strict sanitation and hygiene practices to minimize the spread of COVID-19. In addition to our routine sterilization procedures, our practice is taking the following precautions:
- All new consults are being conducted virtually.
- Disinfecting common areas and high-touch surfaces (like doorknobs, counters, and light switches) between patients.
- Following strict sanitation and sterilization protocols in the private surgery center.
- Monitoring the health of employees and caregivers and encouraging any who feel unwell to remain home.
- Making sanitizers available to all patients and staff.
- Minimizing the number of individuals in the facility at one time.
If you feel unwell, have had a fever in the last 24 hours, or have developed a new cough or shortness of breath, please contact us to reschedule your appointment. At this time, we are asking patients to come to their appointments alone or leave designated drivers in the vehicle.
Tips for staying healthy & safe in a time of COVID-19
While it’s easy to feel alarmed as news of this virus inundates us, there are a number of relatively easy things we can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent illness. First and foremost, limiting your contact with others can help you avoid exposure and the risk of exposing others in the community.
In addition to social distancing, the CDC recommends the following hygiene tips and sanitation measures:
- Wash your hands very often with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds (sing the “happy birthday” song as your personal timer!). If soap isn’t available, apply hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol thoroughly to all surfaces of your hands—and follow up with soap and water when you have an opportunity to do so.
- Don’t touch your face, particularly your nose and mouth, with unwashed hands. Avoiding your face can be a challenging endeavor, so instead strive to be aware of when you do it and make sure you wash your hands after.
Skip social gestures. That means avoiding hugs, handshakes, and close-contact. It’s safest to stick with waves and smiles for the time being.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow if you are caught by surprise, but it’s best to use a tissue if you can. Dispose of all used tissues in a closed container right away or toss reusable handkerchiefs into the wash. In any case, make sure to wash your hands after.
- Disinfect common areas every day, particularly frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, counters, keyboards, etc. You should also sanitize your sinks and faucets so you aren’t touching a dirty tap with freshly cleaned hands. Alcohol and diluted bleach solutions are effective, as well as other EPA-registered household disinfectants. Make sure you pay attention to the directions for proper preparation of the products and how long they need to sit on the surface to be effective.
- Clean after touching any public surfaces, like ATMs, self-checkout counters, pin pads, etc. It’s near impossible to avoid all of these surfaces, so make sure you have hand sanitizer on hand or the ability to wash your hands soon after.
The CDC also recommends avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, including concerts, conferences, festivals, weddings, etc.
If you have any questions or concerns about an upcoming appointment with Dr. Schlesinger, we encourage you to give us a call at (808) 597-8835. Stay safe and healthy!