Maui COVID-19 hospitalizations rise to 20, up 67% in first week of the new year
* Updated January 7, 6:20 PM
Hospitalizations on Maui are up 67% in the new year, rising from 12 on Dec. 31, 2021 to 20 in just seven days as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with the current omicron surge. This comes as the state recorded itʻs highest new daily infections since the start of the pandemic today, with 4,789 cases, including more than 700 in Maui County.
During the delta surge, hospitalizations at Maui Health rose to 41 COVID-19 positive patients in mid-August, with multiple patients in the ICU. Of the 20 patients hospitalized today, there is just one COVID-19 patient in the ICU, and none on ventilators. The current ICU patient is unvaccinated, according to Maui Health.
“When that overwhelms our hospitals or whether that overwhelms our hospitals, in part depends on how busy our hospitals already are with people who are there without COVID,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i District Health Officer during a Department of Health media briefing on Dec. 22. “It also depends on how severe the illness caused by this disease is; and it appears that omicron causes less severe disease. But as it affects so many more people so rapidly, it certainly is something all of us are keeping an eye on statewide,” she said.
“Maui County and our state are experiencing the highest surge of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with over 700 cases reported for Maui County today and a positivity rate that has soared to 17.8% – the highest ever recorded,” said Tracy Dallarda, spokesperson for Maui Health.
Statewide, there are 215 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 today, according to an update provided by Lieutenant Governor Josh Green. That means Maui currently has 9.3% of the hospitalizations in the state.
Hilton Rathel, president and CEO of Health Care Association of Hawaiʻi spoke at a press briefing hosted by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Wednesday, saying hospitals in Hawaiʻi anticipate reaching a peak in hospitalizations within the next two weeks, during the current omicron surge.
According to Rathel, the Health Care Association of Hawaiʻi is working with the hospital members, the state Department of Health, HI-EMA, and FEMA to bring in more than 700 health care staff from out of state to help with this surge. “Weʻre also assessing everything from our supplies of PPE, ventilators, and liquified oxygen. While we have some additional capacity in our hospitals and we are taking care of everyone who needs care, our most acute need is adequate staffing,” said Rathel.
According to Dallarda, Maui Health admitted seven additional COVID-19 patients in just two days, none of whom received a booster dose.
With the increase in cases, Maui Health expects to see an increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and is urging all residents to consider the vaccine, and if already vaccinated, to get a booster dose.
“MMMC will be following the Department of Health recommendation to extend the booster dose of the vaccine to children ages 12 to 17. In addition, we will provide a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine to moderately to severely immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11 at least 28 days after their second dose,” said Dallarda.
The Maui Memorial Medical Center, Main Lobby Vaccine Clinic continues to provide Pfizer vaccine to all eligible residents:
- Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- No appointment needed; walk-ins are welcome during clinic hours.
- Administering first, second, third and booster doses to all qualified individuals.
- To qualify for a booster dose, patients must be at least 12 years old or older and five months past their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, six months past your second dose of the Moderna vaccine or two months past the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.
- Pediatric doses are available for ages 5 to 11
- Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
More information is available at the Maui Health website.