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Hawaii Updates: Cases At 486, Deaths Now At 9; 29 Test Positive At Maui Memorial

Maui Memorial Medical Center
Maui Memorial Medical Center

Updated: 4/11/2020, 1 p.m.

The state's confirmed and presumed positive coronavirus cases today number 486, up 21 from the previous day, according to the state's latest daily update. The death count is now at nine. 

The ninth death was a woman over 65 who had underlying medical conditions, had tested positive for the coronavirus and was hospitalized on Oahu, the health department said.

The eighth death was an elderly male hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center in the chronic care unit.

Health Director Bruce Anderson said yesterday that the department is investigating the death to see if it is tied to the outbreak at Maui Memorial, where 29 people have now tested positive. 

Of the new statewide cases, 20 are adults and one is a minor. Eleven involve community spread and 10 are of unknown origin. 

As of today, Oahu has 348 cases, Maui 80, Big Island 34 and Kauai 19. There are three pending investigation and two cases were diagnosed out of state.  Forty-four cases have required hospitalization. 

The health department said the number of travel-related cases is dropping and there is greater concern about community spread. 

More Maui Memorial tests come back positive

At least 29 people connected to Maui Memorial Medical Center have now tested positive for the coronavirus. The state health department says some appear to be "separate introductions," and not related to the hospital infections.

The results are from tests on 90 staff and 36 patients who had specimens taken for testing. 

"While the investigation at MMMC is continuing, DOH will be supporting MMMC in notifying patients who have recently been discharged or treated and may be associated with the affected wards and staff," the department said in a news release.

The hospital has been scrambling to adjust its procedures to stop the spread in its facility.

After healthcare workers at the hospital were confirmed to have COVID-19 last week, the hospital added temperature screenings for employees and visitors to the hospital. 

And it is now requiring anyone who enters the hospital to wear a mask.

State Health Director Bruce Anderson who earlier criticized the Maui Memorial’s lack of standard infection controls said yesterday policies at hospitals are changing.

"This was never done in the past and I think hospitals have gone through a learning cycle here and then and most of them are actually doing very, very well. Maui Memorial... has done a great job as I see it in the last week or two, at least as we've been monitoring the situation in probing their infection control procedures," he said.


He said one hospital worker had been sick for a while but continued on the job. He urged employers to remove any worker exhibiting symptoms from the workplace.

Anderson had received reports from hospital workers that personal protective equipment (PPEs) such as masks were being rationed by the hospital. He said the state delivered four pallets of PPEs to Maui Memorial in the past few days.

He said contact tracing of all those who tested positive will continue through the weekend. Contact tracing involves reaching out to those who came into contact with the workers so they can be tested and quarantined if needed.

--HPR's Ashley Mizuo

List of child care providers for essential workers available

Essential workers in search of child care can now access a list of providers that are still operating.

PATCH, state’s child care resource and referral agency, compiled the information on licensed and registered programs that continue to take in children of essential workers.

Associate Director Carol Wear says since many schools have shut down over worries about the coronavirus, essential workers needed to search for child care.

She said PATCH has put together the online list of providers.

"Once they click on the link, it will take them to a listing of all the essential childcare workers that have ... availability. From there, they’ll have their name, their phone number and the age range that they accept. And then the families will then be able to contact the child care providers directly," she said.

Wear says the details will be updated regularly.

--HPR's Casey Harlow

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Editor's note: We’d like to hear how you’re coping with the latest developments in dealing with the spread of the coronavirus. You can call our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Or e-mail us at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.

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