By Pacific Retina Care

-By Tammy

This COVID-19 virus has hit the US hard.  As essential workers trying to take care of our patients, we have scrambled to stay abreast of this mess.  As you know we ask a series of questions and take your temperature each and every visit.  We do the same of our staff every single day.  If you have a fever but need to be seen by Doctor Tafoya, we will give you a KN-95 to wear during your visit and will sequester you into one room with minimal interaction.  We will then disinfect the room and UVC it before using it again.  If our staff member is feverish, he/she must leave immediately and see his/her doctor. The CDC defines fever at over 100.4’F. We all wear face masks PROPERLY and wash our hands often.  We will correct you if you are not wearing your face mask properly.  If you come with a vented mask, we will require you to wear another.  This valve is good for you, but nobody near you.  We will give cloth masks at no charge to our patients and staff as needed.  We disinfect all surfaces touched by patients and after each encounter.  We UVC the office at nighttime.  We offer curbside waiting where you can comfortably wait in your vehicle.  We have removed most of our chairs and try to encourage social distancing.  We have touch-less hand sanitizer dispensers and antimicrobial hand soap throughout the office.  What else can we do?

We screen the best we can, but there are asymptomatic and presymptomatic people who have the disease and are unknowingly spreading it.  How do we protect against that?  There are no sound studies on this subject.  We don’t really know how many of these people are present at any given time.  Wearing your face mask properly will help, but what else can be done?  There are virus particles that are spread from talking or coughing, but there are other smaller aerosolized virus particles that can infect you.  Research has shown that there is a solution that does not produce ozone.  Airlines and the White House use it.  But it is expensive. However, we believe that you are worth it!

The virus that causes COVID-19 is relatively small.  Some filtration systems can miss it.  We will be installing Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization units onto our HVAC systems.  They spew positive and negative ions into the air.  We won’t even notice them, see them, feel them, smell them.  But these ions will attract things like pollen, pollution and yes virus particles. Once attached, these particles become larger and easier for our system to suck up and out of the air. In addition to this we will install filtration units in each exam room and the common area.  These new units contain 4” of HEPA filter to collect all of the particles floating in the air, including most importantly the COVID-19 culprits and other airborne pathogens.  It has self-cleaning to keep it sanitized.  This new system is supposed to help with allergies and somehow make the air smell fresher too.  All of this should arrive shortly and be installed by our amazing AirCentral experts. Can’t wait!