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Maui Memorial now dealing with 45 total COVID cases between patients, staff

Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 8:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The number of COVID cases at the Maui Memorial Medical center continues to rise.

As of noon Wednesday, hospital officials said there was a cumulative total of 24 positive patient cases and 21 positive health care workers.

To date, they say 637 tests on employees have performed with 602 of them coming back negative. 14 more are pending.

They added they are continuing their testing efforts “to understand the prevalence of the virus in our hospital, they said in a statement. “Because our patients, employees, and providers are a direct reflection of our community.”

But some from within the hospital say more needs to be done to protect everyone at the hospital.

“The problem is no one feels safe. The staff in our hospital doesn’t feel safe,” said one ICU nurse at the facility, who asked to remain anonymous.

“We are not being told of exposures or where the COVID exists in the hospital and we are not being provided the proper PPE and that’s my main concern.”

The hospital battled a cluster of cases in the early months of the pandemic.

“It could have been prevented and that’s why the mood is so gloomy and dark and everybody is just upset,” said the ICU nurse.

ICU Medical Director Dr. Michael Shea said the hospital’s operating rooms are open and safe and that more personal protective equipment is being used for procedures where there’s aerosolized virus.

Elective procedures are postponed for the rest of the week to ensure bed capacity.

Shea said many patients from the community are not showing symptoms.

“Many of the cases that we are seeing are actually community acquired so please don’t believe the rumors. We’re taking every action that we can to keep our patients and our staff safe and all of you safe,” he said.

Healthcare Association CEO Hilton Raethel says there are no critical shortages of PPE and Maui Memorial is nearly full because of a bump in regular patients, not COVID-19 patients.

“They have a lot of patients in their hospital right now, but not primarily because of COVID,” said Raethel. “Are they busy, yes, but it is not primarily because of COVID, at least this week.”

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