Another Maui Memorial employee tests positive

Maui Memorial Medical Center is pictured on Tuesday shortly after being showered with plumerias as a show of thanks to health care workers. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

A Maui Memorial employee has tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving an antibody test from a community provider and a swab test at the hospital, Maui Health said Sunday.

Spokeswoman Tracy Dallarda said that the employee received the antibody test on May 18. Once the hospital learned that the test had detected the virus, the employee was swabbed for COVID-19 at the Emergency Department. The result came back positive on Saturday. Dallarda said that the employee is asymptomatic and has been sent home to quarantine.

“Maui Health is collaborating with the Department of Health on contact tracing within the community and the hospital,” Dallarda said. “Patients and employees who may have had contact with this health care worker are being notified and will be tested, as necessary.”

The report comes just days after the state Department of Health declared the cluster at Maui Memorial “closed.” Dallarda, however, said that this latest case is “not at all related to the cluster,” because “all of the contact tracing and testing related to the cluster has been completed and closed.”

“The Department of Health considers this a low-risk exposure, as hospital employees and patients are wearing masks and the health care worker wore appropriate personal protective equipment,” Dallarda said. “At this time there are no concerns that this is part of a new cluster for many reasons: there is more understanding of this virus now and many processes and protocols have been put into place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

These new policies include universal masking for patients, employees and providers; appropriate PPE usage and frequent training on use; daily COVID-19 screenings; wide-net COVID-19 testing for high-risk units and systematic disinfecting of all areas within the hospital, Dallarda said.

The Maui News has reached out to the DOH for comment.

The department reported one new case in Maui County on Saturday and none statewide on Sunday.


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