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  • Writer's pictureHawaiʻi State Senate

HEARING NOTICE FOR SEPTEMBER 3, 2021: Senate Special Committee on COVID-19

The situation in the state is dire whereas crisis standards of care will need to be implemented and decisions will need to be made regarding which patients do or do not receive oxygen.

The state has two liquid oxygen plants. Both are operating at full capacity, and both have switched to medical gas only.

The combined local capacity of the on-island plants is approximately 13,000,000 liters per day.

Coincidentally, the current daily consumption statewide for medical grade oxygen is approximately 13,000,000 liters per day, which is approximately a 250% increase since the beginning of August. Generally, oxygen is not shipped in from the mainland as the current plants produce sufficient oxygen.

Current projections are that Hawai'i will run out of medical grade oxygen by early September.

A plan needs to be established to have ISOs shipped from the West Coast to Hawai'i in early September, with additional ISOs shipped in subsequent weeks until either the current surge subsides, or, on-island capacity is enhanced.

The Special Committee will convene to discuss and hear from the following:

Hawai'i Pandemic Applied Modeling (HiPAM)

  • Provide the current forecast on COVID transmission and data;

  • Results on policy interventions on COVID transmission; and

  • Scenario and decision support of different interventions.

Department of the Attorney General – Strategy to Prevent Labor Day Surge

  • Discuss the statewide strategy and restrictions to avoid large gatherings and super spreader events heading into Labor Day weekend.

Department of Health and Healthcare Association of Hawai'i – Hospital Capacity and Oxygen Shortages

  • Determine the total threshold amounts for hospitalizations to avoid a crisis;

  • Determine the triggers to implement restrictions to avoid a crisis;

  • To avoid hitting a point where consumption of oxygen will exceed on-island supply, what options are being explored such as bringing commercial oxygen generators to support smaller hospitals, the cost, logistics, and approvals;

  • Determine if the shipping of filled ISO tanks can be expedited;

  • Determine if the shipping of unfilled ISO tanks can be airlifted to the West Coast to be refilled and returned roundtrip back to the state;

  • Determine hospitals oxygen plumbing capacity, what is the maximum capacity of each hospital's system to deliver oxygen to patient rooms, what is the maximum number of patients requiring low flow and high flow, and ventilator oxygen combined; and

  • Identify potential oxygen conservation and implementation strategy.

No public testimony will be accepted.

FOR AMENDED NOTICES: Measures that have been deleted are stricken through and measures that have been added are underscored. If a measure is both underscored and stricken through, that measure has been deleted from the agenda.



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