‘Not sustainable’: Green says new restrictions are likely as cases remain in the triple digits

Authorities worry over new cases in several Oahu nursing homes.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - New outbreaks could potentially impact several Oahu nursing homes, and health officials are closely monitoring the cases.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Saturday that this continues to be a very challenging time for the state. With the constant triple-digit rise in cases, he said more strict rules for the state could be looming on the horizon.

“This rate of spread is now not sustainable, and it does look very likely that the governor and the mayor will have to make a hard decision to have a stay-at-home order starting next week.”

“The main reason for that, assuming they do make it, is to very abruptly bring down the number of cases per day, and the impact on the hospital and healthcare system,” he added.

Meanwhile, the virus has found its way into multiple nursing homes.

One resident and three staff members at the Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center have tested positive since the beginning of an outbreak on Thursday.

The resident is hospitalized and the employees will not return to work until they receive medical clearance, according to the state’s largest nursing home.

The test results for other residents and workers are pending.

“284 cases is a major problem. The bigger problem than even that is that we have 2,900-plus active cases. That will translate to 325 hospitalizations soon, and our hospitals are reaching capacity,” Green said.

The Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center says it learned on Thursday that a recent admission tested positive. According to a letter from the CEO posted on the facility’s website, new admissions have been halted and the infected resident is receiving care in the hospital to limit exposure to other residents.

A resident at Kahala Nui’s Hiolani Care Center who tested positive and is symptomatic has been transferred to a hospital according to the nursing home.

The facility says it’s working with the Health Department to figure out the origin of the infection and the extent to which the virus has spread.

Residents and staff who may have had contact with the individual are being tested.

And Rehab Hospital of the Pacific says its caring for a recently diagnosed COVID-19 patient who was put into isolation when the possibility of the disease was suspected. An employee there also tested positive.

Green does have hope that with the right rules in place, lives could be saved. He says we need to remember that being an island state presents different challenges than the mainland.

“It can be brought under control further. Three-hundred cases is a very small number for a lot of parts of the country. Almost every state would still prefer to have our circumstance than their own. We have to actually have containment of the virus now, because we are a small state and it can spread very easily.”

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