Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC) began its planned response to the COVID-19 crisis a few weeks ago.
The two major aims of the COVID-19 policy are (1) helping to ensure staff safety and infection control in the event of an increase of COVID-19 and other influenza activity, and (2) supporting HHHRC participants, clients, and patients in getting needed support and information in preventing the acquisition and transmission of the virus.
With the emergence of social transmission cases in Hawaii, HHHRC is taking the following measures, which went into effect on March 16:
We will continue to provide services to existing clients and patients, but we are stopping the intake of all new clients and patients in order to reduce the flow of persons coming into our clinic. This includes drop-in and appointments for HIV testing. Our only new clients will be those who have been newly diagnosed with HIV. HIV testing will only be available for existing PrEP clients.
We will continue to operate mobile syringe exchange services during its current availability on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii island.
All social and community engagement events have been cancelled for at least the next 4 weeks, pending further developments.
Staff is supporting vulnerable clients in preparing them with needed food, medicine, hygiene and other supplies and ensuring that they can link quickly with their primary care provider.
Visitor Intake & Heightened Hygiene Protocols
All visitors and participants, upon arrival, will be asked to wash their hands in the restroom or with hand sanitizer. HHHRC staff will screen for vital signs and temperature to clear them for services.
HHHRC staff will have access to sterilizers for surfaces and will sterilize office surfaces regularly throughout the day and thoroughly at the end of each day. Staff will sterilize clinic and testing surfaces and equipment used after each client and patient.
HHHRC staff will wash hands before and after every encounter with clients or participants, after using the bathroom and will make efforts to keep hands away from face and mucous membranes. To be effective, hand washing must be for at least 20 seconds with vigorous rubbing between finders and fingernails.
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