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Faced with flood of COVID patients, Queen’s West Oahu declares internal emergency, seeking extra help

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 3:24 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Faced with a flood of COVID-19 patients, Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu has declared a “disaster” as the hospital seeks additional support.

“Today we declared an internal state of emergency, so that means that all hands are on deck,” said Jason Chang, of the Queen’s Health Systems.

Officials say Queen’s West Oahu is at capacity and every bed in the facility is full right now.

“What that means is they’re overwhelmed, the capacity to take care of patients has exceeded, and they’ve asked the city for help,” Emergency Services Department Director Jim Ireland said.

Officials will be creating an “extended ER” in the hospital’s parking lot. One tent has already been set up and more will be set up in the coming days.

“This has been a preventable situation. We’re asking everybody to please, get vaccinated. We don’t want people to go out and socialize,” Chang said.

He added, “This weekend, if there’s an event you’re invited to, please do not go. It’s really a crisis out there. The number of new positive cases is increasingly high, and we’re worried about that because it translates to more people who are going to need emergency care in the hospitals.”

Other Hawaii hospitals are expected to follow suit.

“The hospital is full and we expected this to happen,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green said. “The dominoes will fall, other hospitals will fill. That’s why we’ll have to add extra services.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi earlier addressed the situation in an interview with Hawaii News Now.

“I just learned moments ago that Queen’s West now is closed down, not receiving any ambulances,” he said. “We have en route a mobile unit by the city, hopefully staffed with some people, it will be staffed with some people — I’m not exactly sure how many right now — to assist with what’s going on out at Queen’s West.”

This comes as COVID-19 cases have been soaring across the state — and hospitalizations are at an all-time high.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said as of Friday, there were 371 total COVID hospitalizations in the state.

This story will be updated.

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