Leahi Hospital considered for quarantine facility in COVID-19 preparedness


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Lieutenant Governor Green says he is putting together a robust team in the case the virus reaches the state.

Leahi Hospital is being considered as a quarantine facility, especially for those traveling or homeless and cannot isolate themselves inside their own homes.

“Leahi is a consideration. We have seen the facility and respect all of what they do. So we’re going to make the best decision to keep people safely away from other populations,” said Lt. Gov. Green, who is the Hawaii COVID-19 Healthcare Liaison.

The Chief Administration Officer for Leahi Hospital, Sean Sanada, said the site still needs to be inspected by the CDC and the state’s DOH before any decision is made.

Sanada said, “We are still awaiting guidance from the CDC and DOH to determine if the proposed sites are viable and, if viable, what steps are necessary to ensure that the virus is contained and our long-term care residents are protected from any possible exposure.

Sanada said the hospital staff, patients and family members are aware of the outbreak in Washington at a nursing home facility, he said no patient who is positive to the virus will be admitted unless they are certain a similar outbreak will not happen at their facility.

He also wants to clarify, Leahi Hospital will not be the first line of defense when it comes to testing for coronavirus.

“Any people who come here seeking a test will not only be turned away, but would also jeopardize the health and safety of the vulnerable patients who reside in our nursing facility,” Sanada said. “If you experience any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please contact the Department of Health for further information.

Green says military facilities could also be an option.

KHON2 found that an individual quarantined in Pearl Harbor earlier this year in 2020. The person did not have the virus.

Green also says that this scenario would be for those who are positive and with minor symptoms. Acute cases would be treated at one of the bigger hospitals.

He says he’s meeting with them all to address preparedness needs.

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