“COVID-19 and Your Health” series provided important information this fall

Photo of Associate Professor Preeti Oza

University of the Pacific Associate Professor Preeti Oza.

University of the Pacific’s School of Health Sciences, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy collaborated on a successful “COVID-19 and Your Health” speaker series this fall.

Pacific’s health science schools tackled such important issues as practicing safe dentistry, masks and social distancing, health equity and challenges and opportunities for public health.

The final speakers on Nov. 17 were Preeti Oza, associate professor of physical therapy at the School of Health Sciences, and Neel Prasad, assistant clinical professor and coordinator for the Long School of Pharmacy in Modesto/East Bay.

Oza, a specialist in neurological physical therapy and a clinical instructor, presented on exercise for brain and body fitness during COVID-19. She works with patients who have neuromuscular issues.

Oza notes that home and community-based therapists have helped determine which patients need the limited, in-person appointments.

“As I am waiting to be called back into the clinic, I am continuing to do what I feel passionate about—community engagement,” Oza said.

Oza works with online education and physical therapy groups, as well as helping in similar areas with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Prasad gave an update on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pandemic guidelines. He reported that “we are over 11 million cases” with case counts “definitely increasing every day.” He also discussed improvement in the United States’ testing capacity. “We are testing more, which is good because we need to test, especially when the numbers are going up.”

Prasad cautioned that California could face tighter restrictions, including mask requirements and curfews, due to the rising cases. “Things are not where we wanted to go but this is kind of a reality check time and we need to be diligent,” Prasad said.

He finished with a discussion of new CDC recommendations for safe holiday celebrations. These include wearing masks and social distancing, limiting the number of guests and hosting events outdoors. California is further recommending that people entering the state complete a 14-day voluntary quarantine.

Prasad concluded with the simple advice, “If you are traveling, use your common sense. Just be safe.”

Visit the CDC and California COVID-19 websites for more information and guidelines.