HONOLULU (KHON2) — After multiple days of COVID-19 numbers in the hundreds, major hospitals in Oahu like Queen’s Health Systems, Hawaii Pacific Health and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii all say they have seen a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past few weeks.
Lt. Governor Josh Green said as of Sunday night, 75 people were in hospitals being treated for COVID-19.
“We’re in double digits now which is something we hadn’t seen in recent weeks,” said Andrew Giles, Kaiser Permanente Assistant Hospital administrator.
He said so far the new cases have been manageable. For months, Giles said, Kaiser has been preparing for a spike by increasing its supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital equipment.
“In that investment was an additional 20 ventilators that we purchased. Those are on island,” said Giles.
Even with new equipment, hospitals only have so much space to work with especially in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“We’re beginning to see some hospitals reach their thresholds for ICU beds,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green. “That becomes a very worrisome trend because we don’t have ICU beds for all of the regular health problems we also will face, heart attacks and strokes and complications from cancer and so on.”
Green said as of Sunday, a total of 127 ICU beds out of 244 beds in the state were in use. He said they are also seeing about a 10%t uptick in intensive care admissions. Some of those cases are COVID related, while some are not.
“It can quickly become a problem,” said Green. “I’ve already begun to contact the hospitals and have them consider slowing down elective procedures to keep those beds available.”
As for the hospitals, they’re asking for the community to do their part.
We are urging everyone in the community to wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and stay home when you’re sick.Queen’s Health Systems Spokesperson
“It’s really not going to be something we can overcome unless it’s a community approach and certainly folks here at Kaiser Permanente, we’re here to take care of those that are ill and in a vulnerable position. But if we really want to get through this pandemic we need everyone’s assistance to mask up and do those precautions.”Andrew Giles, Kaiser Permanente Assistant Hospital Administrator
Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the number of ventilators in use is still low. The state will continue to monitor the hospital numbers closely.