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Nurses plead for more assistance as COVID outbreak at Oahu care center infects 85

The union is calling on state leaders and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii to provide more...
The union is calling on state leaders and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii to provide more staff support at the center.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:18 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 7:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A long-term care facility on Oahu is dealing with a large COVID outbreak, and health leaders say they want the state to step in.

The Care Center of Honolulu said it is managing an outbreak that has infected 54 residents and 31 staff members.

The Hawaii Nurses Association’s president said the spike is a result of overworked nurses who are working “excessive hours” and are dealing with a “shortage in staff.”

“The big scary thing there is that they are mandating overtime,” said Daniel Ross, president of Hawaii Nurses Association.

“They routinely schedule them to work 48 hours a week. They’re mandating them to stay even longer. So they’re scheduling them for 12 hours shifts, and we had someone stay up to 20 hours.”

A spokesperson with Care Center of Honolulu said while 91% of their staff and over 80% of their patients are vaccinated, the facility immediately took steps to protect everyone in the facility, ramping up testing and isolating those infected.

The company also agreed with the Hawaii Nurses Association that the care center’s employees are overworked.

Both the union and the facility are calling on state leaders and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii to provide more staff support at the center.

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