Mālama I Ke Ola’s Guiding Principle to Approach COVID-19

To take the most appropriate steps, with the most recent and accurate information available, to:
– Mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to as few of our employees and patients as possible, at any given time, while caring for the community that is dependent on us.
– Reduce the chance, in those most susceptible, of acquiring severe disease.has been a lot of conversation and coverage about Coronavirus in recent days. Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center is engaging in continuous preparation to keep our patients, staff, and community healthy. The most critical steps in this are to know the right information, the right protective steps to take and to act appropriately on this accurate knowledge. 

NOT ALL PATIENTS WITH SYMPTOMS INDICATING A VIRAL RESPIRATORY INFECTION NEED TO GET A COVID-19 TEST

Q. I have symptoms of cough, cold, fever, shortness of breath – is it COVID-19 for sure?
A. Every winter and spring, there are many common respiratory viruses, bacteria, and seasonal allergens that cause illnesses. We have all gotten these in past seasons, and are still at risk for the same host of viruses, bacteria, and allergens this winter-spring season. We are also still in the peak of influenza season. While the chance of COVID-19 definitely exists, your need for testing at Mālama I Ke Ola will depend on a clinical evaluation for high likelihood of COVID-19, as well as for risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease.

Q. What should I do if I have symptoms of cough, cold, fever, shortness of breath?
A. If possible, call Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center to ask if you need to be evaluated in person. If you do not have high-risk factors (age > 65 or chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes mellitus etc.) and have mild disease, you do not need to be evaluated in person or be tested. If you are here in person, you will be given advice based on your likelihood to have a high-risk factor. This may involve being seen by a medical provider, especially if you have a high-risk factor.

Q. What is the best thing for me to do if I have mild symptoms and evaluated to have no risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease?
A. The majority of people with mild COVID-19 disease get better with time. The recommendation is for you to do the following to keep yourself and other people healthy as you recover:
– Isolate yourself at home and away from other people.
– Monitor your illness. If your symptoms get worse, let your care provider know so they can decide on the best method to evaluate and treat you.

WHY CAN’T MĀLAMA I KE OLA HEALTH CENTER OFFER TESTING FOR ANYONE WHO COMES THROUGH FOR COVID-19?

There are two types of testing for COVID-19.

1. Screening and Surveillance testing:
This refers to screening large groups in the general population to look for the incidence and prevalence of a disease. While this is a very effective and important public health measure, it needs to be done through a public health initiative and strategies driven by the local, state, and federal government. An example of this would be a mass screening-and-testing site like a drive-through testing site. Outpatient clinics like Mālama I Ke Ola are limited in this ability.

2. Risk-Based Testing:
Outpatient clinics like Mālama I Ke Ola, perform risk-based testing while balancing the following three priorities

  • Keeping our patients, especially our medically fragile patients healthy: This includes identifying COVID-19 in our most medically fragile patients, and also keeping them from getting exposed to people who might have mild forms of COVID-19 that can be managed at home.
  • Keeping our staff healthy: We need our staff to be healthy so they can continue to take care of our community of patients who continue to depend on us for a wide variety of health needs, especially those who are medically fragile.
  • Supplies: The supplies for testing and personal protective equipment are still very limited. We are trying to do due diligence by making sure we use the limited testing we have to diagnose those at most risk from serious complications of COVID-19.