Hawaii hospital changes policies after 2 COVID-19 clusters

The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu is changing its policies after identifying COVID-19 clusters in a cardiac unit of Queen Emma Tower and on the fourth floor of the Pauahi Tower, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Over a two-week period, the hospital conducted more than 1,200 tests and identified the clusters, Queen's said in a Jan. 14 statement shared with Becker's. 

As of Jan. 12, Queen’s had identified 17 patients who have tested positive, including four patients who had an initial negative test upon admission, followed by a positive one. At least 27 employees also tested positive, the Star-Advertiser reported. 

"Patients and staff testing positive were quickly informed, traced for contacts within the hospital, quarantined, and are receiving appropriate care where needed," Queen's said. "Physicians caring for any of these patients were also informed. Impacted patients were in specific locations in the hospital between Dec. 20, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021."

But the family of a 75-year-old patient who tested positive after leaving Queen's told the Star-Advertiser they were not notified that their loved one was on an affected floor.

Hospital officials said that even if a patient tests negative, the staff now does follow-up checks after the patient is discharged.

Queen's said it also tests all inpatients twice upon admission, and any patients going to skilled nursing facilities must test negative before they are discharged or transferred. The hospital also expanded the number of clinicians available to contact individuals and respond to their questions. 


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