Maui Coronavirus Updates

Rapid Response Nurses, Respirator Therapists to Assist Maui Hospital in COVID Care

August 13, 2021, 6:24 PM HST
* Updated August 13, 6:59 PM
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Maui Memorial Medical Center. Image credit: file Kaiser.

As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise on Maui, with 109 new positive cases reported today, Maui Memorial Medical Center is reporting it too has also experienced an increase in COVID-19 positive admissions.

“Today, we are caring for 30 COVID-19 positive patients with four in intensive care and three on a ventilator. All but one of these patients is unvaccinated. This is a significant increase from the one-digit number of COVID-19 patients we were caring for in early July, but it is to be expected – when the state and community numbers rise, the hospitalization rates rise,” said Maui Health spokesperson Tracy Dallarda.

“Our Maui Health caregivers are highly experienced in caring for COVID-19 patients and have, once again, shown their absolute dedication and compassion for our patients,” said Dallarda, who described the work as “difficult and tiring,” but noted that the team will be getting more support soon.

According to Maui Health, the hospital in collaboration with the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi, will be welcoming several rapid response nurses and respiratory therapists to assist in caring for COVID-19 patients. “This influx of clinicians will help support the caregiving efforts already in place and give our health care team the relief they need and deserve,” she said.

Safeguards instituted to maintain a safe environment include:

  • Restricted visitation.
  • Universal N95 mask use.
  • Regular COVID-19 testing for employees and patients.
  • The recent announcement of the Maui Health vaccine policy that will require all eligible employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, 2021.
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The Department of Health has reported that more than 90% of the cases on Maui are likely caused by the Delta variant. Hospital representatives say it is currently the most contagious variant and research has shown that just one positive individual can infect up to eight others.

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“The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to reduce the risk of contracting the virus, and if a breakthrough infection were to occur, they reduce the risk of severe disease and hospitalization,” said Dallarda.

Josh Masslon, RN, ICU nurse with Maui Memorial Medical Center said he understands obtaining the vaccine is a personal choice:

“I respect and support everyone’s right to choose whether the vaccine is right for them or not, because each decision carries a potential consequence. The potential side effects from the vaccine as a risk, or the risk of getting infected with the virus. As an ICU nurse, taking care of COVID-19 patients and seeing the consequences of the virus – I chose the vaccine. This virus is causing many people to suffer, and I wanted to do everything I could to prevent that from happening to me and my family.”

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The Maui Health continues to offer a vaccine clinic in the Main Lobby of the Maui Memorial Medical Center. The clinic is open Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.

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