Weekly Address from Mary Faria: Fall Week 6

AOMA weekly updates (week of 10/19/20)


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

-No new updates

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

- Communication has been shared regarding potential COVID exposures on campus but I’m including the following, that was sent to the AOMA community on Thursday, as another means of ensuring everyone gets this information:


Dear AOMA Community,

I want to make you aware of a POSSIBLE exposures related to a student who tested positive for COVID.  The student who tested positive has not been on campus but did have contact with another student just prior to the positive testing. The two were in an outside setting, well distanced but because they met for coffee, masks were off. The potentially exposed student did attend a class on campus and also was a patient in our South Clinic the same day. Those who may have been exposed were contacted last night when information was shared with us. Last night and through this morning we’ve been trying to gather all the facts to determine best actions to take. Meetings with Austin Public Health (APH) and with our AOMA safety team were held this morning. Austin Public Health feels the risk to anyone on campus is very low because of the good safety measures we have in place and because of the circumstances of the exposure. That said, anyone who may have been exposed directly or indirectly, please feel free to contact me, Michael Jewell or one of our Academic Leaders (Robert Laguna, Phil Garrison, Reagan Taylor, Diane Stanley, Lesley Hamilton) with questions or concerns.  

This incident points out the importance of all the safety rules we have put in place and the importance of adhering to those rules. Following our rules keeps us all safe!


Here is a reminder of all the current rules (they change as things change in the community):

· Your first responsibility is to be Screened. If South, you screen in Building B entering through the door closest to the DOJO/Clinic. A band will be placed on your wrist indicating that you have screened. You cannot enter other AOMA building without screening. If North, you screen in the Clinic main patient waiting area.

· Wear an approved Mask at all time (Handkerchiefs, Stretch Gaiter/Buff Types, etc. are Not Allowed). Surgical masks are safest and mandatory in the Clinics. AOMA can provide these to you.

· If you are a student, supervisor, or professional practicing in our Clinics, face shields are to be worn at all times while inside the Clinic.

· Wash your Hands Well and Often

· Use Sanitizing Gel in between your frequent Hand Washings

· Always maintain Physical Distance (at least 6 feet), whenever possible (Pulse Reading, Patient Interaction, etc.)

· Be mindful of traffic flow in buildings

· You are responsible for Wiping Down Your Classroom or Treatment room Area including all equipment, furniture, containers, door knobs, etc., after each class

· If you are in Classrooms E-2 and/or E-4, use the Restroom in Building E

· If you are in Classrooms E-1 and/or E-3 use the Restroom in Building B, entering into Building B from the entrance closest to the DOJO/Clinic and exiting into the Courtyard

· There is a designated restroom for students and staff in the N. Clinic.

· Use the “Vacant/Occupied” sign to ensure one person at a time while using the Restroom. Restroom should be wiped or sprayed before you leave the room.

· If you experience any unusual symptoms not allergy related or not typical for you, don’t come to campus

Safety after Travel:

Self-Quarantine for 10 days if:

· You have traveled by Air, Train, Bus, etc.

Personal Car Travel is allowed but you must notify our Safety Team in advance (notify by email, Michael Jewel or Mary Faria). The following will be considered when determining if you will have to quarantine:

· You have had any Flu-like Symptoms in the Past 10 Days

· Someone you’ve been in contact with during your travels has Flu-like Symptoms or has been exposed to COVID

· Your Temperature has been above 99.5 in the past 10 days

· If you have been exposed to COVID while off campus or tested positive, notify me, Michael Jewell or an Academic Leader at AOMA immediately

We must take care of one another by doing all the right things during this Pandemic. We are entering a third surge of the virus internationally, nationally, and locally so we must all be very vigilant to keep each other safe. Thanks so much for doing your part!

3. Key operational issues or updates

- Nothing new currently


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

- Just a sincere thank you to Latossha Tifre and Ann Marie Sanders who both did an outstanding job helping with our Acupuncture Medicine Day interviews. Latossha interviewed Dr. Sharad Kohli of People’s Community Clinic and Ann Marie interviewed Dr. Edward Lee and Dr. John Finnell who oversee the VA’s Whole Health Programs for Central Texas and South Texas. The recordings of the interviews are on AOMA’s social media and YouTube.


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

With Love and Peace,

~Mary