Patient recovering from COVID-19 isn’t cleared to fly, but doesn’t have a place to stay

Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 6:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A local doctor says one of his patients who’s recovering from COVID-19 can’t find a hotel room where she can completely heal and rest.

Doctors are worried and fear it’s an issue that’s expected to grow as more people who are diagnosed begin to recover. They can’t fly home, but they also can’t find a hotel to stay in or stay with family.

In this case, Dr. Julius Pham of the Queen's Health Systems says the female traveler is hospitalized at Queen's and is well enough to be discharged, but is still not cleared to fly home yet.

Recently, Queen's put the call out for donated masks and other protective equipment. Now Dr. Pham says the hospital is once again asking for help.

“She’s doing well, but unfortunately she can’t get on a plane because she’s not clear yet. She can’t go back to where she’s from and the hotels that we reached out to have said they can’t take her,” said Dr. Pham.

"We are reaching out to the hotel industry to say what can you do to help us. We want her to not be in the hospital, but moreover we don't want her in the hospital because we need that capacity for other patients," he added.

The hotel industry has been battered by this pandemic, but Lt. Governor Josh Green says there's a list of about about a dozen hotels that have offered to help in quarantine services.

The details are still being hashed out so the list is not public. The hotel list would be coordinated by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the Lt. Governor says there is work behind the scenes to help in cases like this.

As for the mask donations, Queen’s says its gotten an outpouring and will now accept surgical AND homemade masks.

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