Staff shortage triggers internal emergency declaration at Queen’s Medical Center

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Queen’s Medical Center-Punchbowl has declared an internal emergency as rates of emergency room visits and hospital admissions exceed available staff.

Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu took a similar step earlier this week.

Queen’s Health Systems President and CEO Jill Hoggard Green said the statement triggers protocols to alleviate the shortage. She said hospitals remain open.

“Like other organizations across our country and state, Queen’s is experiencing the widespread effects of community exposures to the omicron variant on our team,” said Green.

“Currently, we have more than 800 caregivers (nurses, providers and auxiliaries) unable to work due to close contact or a positive test for COVID. To address staff shortages and ensure that we are providing adequate care, we have contracted qualified itinerant nurses and community support workers. “

As of Wednesday, 359 people were hospitalized statewide with COVID. Some were admitted for other reasons, but the Healthcare Association of Hawaii said they would continue to be counted because a positive COVID sets a series of infection control protocols in place.

This story will be updated.

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