3 employees, a patient at Maui Memorial test positive for COVID-19 as cluster grows
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three additional employees and one patient at Maui Memorial Medical Center have tested positive for coronavirus as the state continues to an investigate a disturbing cluster of cases at the hospital.
The new cases bring to 19 the total number of employees at the hospital who fallen ill from coronavirus.
The hospital made the announcement in a news release Friday, saying its employees who have tested positive are in home isolation and are in “good condition.”
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Separately, Maui Memorial also said one of two fatalities reported in Hawaii on Friday was a patient at its facility’s chronic care unit. That patient actually died on April 7, but wasn’t reported to DOH until Friday morning.
There is also another COVID-19 patient in the same unit, officials said.
State Health Director Bruce Anderson said it’s not yet clear whether the fatality in the chronic care unit is linked to the COVID-19 cluster, but added that is under investigation.
As it continues to respond to the cluster, the hospital said it’s working with the state and other entities to notify those who may have come into contact with the employees positive for coronavirus.
“We are continually impressed with the dedication and commitment from our staff, caregivers and physicians. Our heartfelt wishes go to our employees and patients who contracted COVID-19 and wish them speedy recovery,” said Mike Rembis, CEO of Maui Health, in a news release.
Since the cluster was reported, at least 126 hospital employees, patients and others who are linked to the cluster have been tested for coronavirus.
Results for 24 individuals have been returned, and four were positive.
Health officials say the outbreak started in mid-March. In the wake of the cluster being made public, the hospital has stepped up its safety protocols.
Earlier this week, state Health Director Bruce Anderson said the hospital hadn’t been adhering to infection control principles, like requiring visitors to undergo temperature checks and wear masks upon entering the building.
On top of that, Anderson said the facility didn’t provide staff with enough personal protective equipment.
This story will be updated.
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