Dr. Lee Weiss with a Maui Health COVID-19 Update

April 24, 2020, 9:55 AM HST · Updated April 25, 5:59 AM
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A radio segment featuring executives and doctors with Maui Health runs daily at 7:19 a.m. on KPOA 93.5 FM.  The series providing updates and answers questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday’s guest was Dr. Lee Weiss, Regional Director of Emergency Medical Services.  In his interview, Dr. Weiss discussed hospitalizations, testing, and how life will be after the curve is flattened.

Hospitalizations on Maui have been under 15, according to Dr. Weiss.

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“The vast majority of patients who get COVID-19 have an asymptomatic or mild disease that we would call an influenza-like illness–greater than 95%,” he said.

“The majority of the patients have been done well.  To date I believe there have been three patients that have succumbed to COVID-19, and as unfortunate as that is, and not to make anything other than the tragedy that it is when anybody dies of a disease,” said Dr. Weiss.

According to Dr. Weiss, Hawaiʻi has done well in context to other places in the US, “Because they’ve listened about social distancing; they’ve listened about isolating themselves, and they’ve followed the instructions of the CDC, the government and Hawaiʻi and Maui public health officials very well.  And they have done what’s called ‘flatten the curve.'”

“As we increase testing, even of asymptomatic patients, we’re going to find a lot of people who have had COVID-19 and were asymptomatic,” Dr. Weiss noted.

“Even as we pass this surge, even as we do all of the things at the hospital to guarantee patient safety, to guarantee the safety of employees, that virus is still ever present and we must redouble our efforts on a  healthcare basis to protect healthcare providers and protect patients alike,” said Dr. Weiss.

“We have to social distance; we have to isolate; we have to be cautious about being in public places; we have to distance ourselves when we can’t have social distancing with a simple facemark.  And by doing so, we will decrease the number of cases, we will decrease the number of deaths, we will institute a robust tracking system so that when a patient is identified, we can identify all of the individuals that they’ve had contact with and quarantine and reduce those individuals from spreading it to another.  We’re going to have to do this until such a time as we have a preventative agent like a vaccine,” said Dr. Weiss.

He concluded saying, “Everybody’s in the same boat.  Everybody has to pull the boat forward.  We all have to go in the same direction which is health, safety for ourselves and our families and our communities.  I think Maui can do this better than anywhere else because of the way people treat one another on Maui, because of the community spirit on Maui I believe Maui can really make this happen.”

Past interviews can be accessed by clicking the links below:

    • Thursday, April 23: Dr. Lee Weiss, Regional Director of Emergency Medical Services
    • Wednesday, April 22: Dr. Lee Weiss, Regional Director of Emergency Medical Services
    • Friday, April 17: Dr. David Ulin, Chief Medical Director, Maui Health
    • Thursday, April 16: Dr. Lee Weiss, Regional Director of Emergency Medical Services
    • Wednesday, April 15: Jim Diegel, Chief Strategy Officer, Maui Health
    • Tuesday, April 14: Dr. Lee Weiss, Regional Director of Emergency Medical Services
    • Friday, April 10: Dr. David Ulin, Chief Medical Director, Maui Health
    • Thursday, April 9: Dr. Ben Thompson, Behavioral Health: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Pacific Permanente Group.
    • Wednesday, April 8: Lisa Paulson, Director of Strategic Communications, Maui Health
    • Tuesday, April 7: Jim Diegel, Chief Strategy Officer, Maui Health
    • Monday, April 6: Mike Rembis, Chief Executive Officer, Maui Health
    • Friday, April 3: Dr. David Ulin, Chief Medical Director at Maui Health
    • Thursday, April 2: Dr. Lee Weiss, Regional Director of Emergency Medical Services
    • Wednesday, April 1: Mike Rembis, Chief Executive Officer with Maui Health
    • Tuesday, March 31: Lisa Paulson, Director of Strategic Communications with Maui Health
    • Monday, March 30: Mike Rembis, Chief Executive Officer with Maui Health

*Note: KPOA 93.5 FM is part of the Pacific Media Group family of radio stations.  Pacific Media Group is the parent company of Maui Now.

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