Weekly Address from Mary Faria: Fall Week 12

AOMA weekly updates (week of 12/7/20)

1. AOMA’s desire to combat racism and healthcare disparities –

- We hope to continue our guest speaker series and are trying to arrange to have Dr. Hoberman join us, a long-time professor at UT-Austin who has done extensive research into the intersection of race and medicine. We’ll try to get this scheduled sometime early in the new year.

- We continue with progress to diversify our Board. We have some outstanding candidates and should have decisions made early in the new year.

2. Plans and issues related to COVID-19 crisis including clinic and campus re-openings

- Austin Public Health has provided the following update on revised quarantine guidelines:

If you have been exposed to COVID ask yourself the following questions:

Did I wear a mask? If no, quarantine for 14 days. If yes, quarantine for 10 days and monitor for symptoms or 7 days and test negative on or after the fifth day of exposure.

Do you work or live with someone who is high risk? If yes, 14-day quarantine.

Are you developing symptoms? If yes, quarantine at least another 10 days.

- Safety Committee met with one of Austin Public Health’s (APH) infectious specialists this week. After consideration of APH input the Safety committee met again to adjust any AOMA policies and make some key decisions:

1. Our time strategy is a good one. Testing is too complicated. There are many types of tests, you can be negative today and positive tomorrow, thus time strategy is preferred.

2. Appropriate quarantine was discussed, and the new guidelines as mentioned above from APH were shared. Our quarantine policy will remain in place and is in alignment with APH.

3. Best masks to use in a clinical environment are N-95 or KN-95 but surgical masks are excellent too. If anyone is wanting to wear N-95 or KN-95 we have a supply of those and will provide. We have a large supply of surgical masks.

4.It was agreed that although helpful, face shields can be optional, not required in clinic.

5.Agreed UV lighting is not practical because of time it takes and can pose a risk so we agreed to put this issue to rest.

3. Key operational issues or updates

- Security cameras are now installed around campus. This is an important safety measure for our campus and clinics.

-Recently we’ve had more trespassers on our campus. We ask everyone to be mindful and watchful for people who should not be on the campus and may pose a risk. Please alert Facilities or Administration if you are confronted by someone who should not be on campus and always remember you can and should call 911 if you are made to feel unsafe by someone who should not be on our campus.

4. Important announcements or answers to questions sent in by students, faculty or staff

- Just a reminder, our food pantry is still operating. Just call the Herbal Dispensary or Michael Jewell and make arrangements for pick-up if you find yourself needing some assistance.

Take care, stay safe and stay healthy (mind, body and spirit).

With Love and Peace,


Got a question for Mary? Don’t hesitate to send her an email at mfaria@aoma.edu and you will receive a response in a timely fashion. If your question involves another department, we will make sure they receive the question and respond.

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