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Molokai General Hospital’s president shares details on COVID-19 cluster

Molokai General Hospital’s president issued today a statement to the Molokai community about a crew that tested positive for COVID-19, which was shared by the Queen’s Health Systems.

President Janice Kalanihuia said that the hospital learned on Tuesday one of the contractors who had been on Molokai the previous week tested positive for COVID-19 on Maui.

“We immediately shut down the job and tested the 12 people who were on-site at that time,” she wrote in her statement. “Four of them tested positive and all were immediately sent to their housing here on Molokai to quarantine.”

She said the dining room is the area where the contractor and crew were working, and it had been completely sealed off from the hospital staff and patient care areas.

The air handling system was disconnected, so no air exchange occurred between the work area and the hospital, she wrote.

Kalanihuia said when hired, the contractor “provided a lengthy and robust COVID-19 protocol they would be following.”

The contractor also signed up for an app used by The Queen’s Health Systems to track employee symptoms daily, but there has to be proper oversight, which the company assured hospital officials it would do.

The contractor declined to make a public statement, and she did not name the contractor.

The hospital is holding free, walk-in, mass COVID-19 testing 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Call Queen’s infoline at 808-691-2619 for more information.

Kalanihuia said the hospital has spent the last 14 months doing all it can to keep the staff and the community safe.

“The well-being of our community is paramount,” she said. “It is heartbreaking that this happened as we are beginning to see things open up a little.”

She said an important message is that “no matter who brought it here, no matter who is infected now, the one thing we need to keep doing is to keep our masks on and socially distance when outside your immediate family or with people whose vaccination status is not certain.”

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