In a concerning new development, Maui’s mayor is reporting a cluster of coronavirus cases involving at least 15 Maui Memorial Medical Center workers.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many patients the employees had close contact with.
Hawaii News Now has learned that some of those who tested positive work in the hospital’s hematology and oncology wards. The 15 workers who tested positive for COVID-19 are in self-isolation and Maui County said there are plans underway to move them to a quarantine site.
In a statement on Facebook, Mayor Mike Victorino said testing is being expedited to people associated with the workers and the governor has pledged his support to help control the spread of the virus.
“I want everyone to know that we’re all hands on deck right now,” he said.
“We will be looking at the cluster that has been formed and what we need to do that. The governor has assured me that help is on its way. Mahalo to everyone on the front lines of this pandemic.”
He added that the county is directing all available personal protective gear to the hospital.
As of Wednesday, Maui County was reporting 54 cases of the novel coronavirus, including the Maui Memorial workers. Two Maui residents have died from the virus, a third of the state’s total COVID-19 death toll.
Mike Rembis, CEO of Maui Health, which is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, said the hospital is taking an “abundance of caution” approach and furloughing any employees who are showing symptoms.
“This is a focus of ours right now,” he said.
Civil Beat reporter Anita Hofschneider contributed reporting to this story.