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Oʻahu hospital executives expect more COVID-19 patients in coming weeks

hospital health care coronaVirus Outbreak Washington state
Elaine Thompson/AP
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AP
Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Hospital executives on Oʻahu are expecting more COVID patients in the next two to three weeks due to the omicron surge.

But the City and County of Honolulu says it will not make any changes to its response.

The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported 3,929 new cases statewide, with 3,026 of those on Oʻahu. On Thursday, the state reported 5,911 new cases statewide and nine additional deaths.

During a press conference, The Queen’s Health Systems President Dr. Jill Hoggard Green reported there were 151 COVID patients in its Oʻahu hospitals, as of Wednesday.

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Hawaiʻi Department of Health
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Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Dashboard on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

Green says vaccinations and a booster dose make a big difference in whether someone is admitted to the hospital.

But for the next two weeks, she advised residents to be cautious.

"It's important for you to keep your bubble closed. We used to use the language 'keep your bubble' – and your bubble were those people that are in your family or your immediate friends, but you knew they were all practicing the safety practices," she said.

"Right now, with this transmission, your bubble could have burst, so it's very important to wear your mask, keep your social distance. Make sure that if you are having any symptoms that you're getting tested, and that it's also very positive to be getting tested even if you don't have symptoms to just continually screen," Green said.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi says there are discussions on whether the Safe Access Oʻahu program will require a booster dose for individuals to be considered fully vaccinated.

Maui County changed its fully vaccinated definition to include boosters. That policy goes into effect Monday, Jan. 24.

Otherwise, Blangiardi says he’s not making any changes to the city’s response at this time.

Find more information on vaccine and testing sites at hawaiicovid19.com.

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