Maui legislators tour Maui Memorial Medical Center as it prepares for COVID-19, meet with island doctors and medical officials
WAILUKU, MAUI – Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate and House representing Maui County today toured the Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku as the staff makes preparations to treat expected cases of COVID-19.
Senators J. Kalani English, Roz Baker, and Gil Keith-Agaran; Representatives Lynn DeCoite and Kyle Yamashita, along with Lieutenant Governor Josh Green and Maui Mayor Mike Victorino met with the island’s medical officials, doctors, and various providers.
The Senate recently passed an emergency funding bill providing $10,568,750 to the Hawai‘i Departments of Health, Defense, and Transportation for mitigation of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. The bill is currently pending in the House of Representatives.
Health care providers from across Maui shared their concerns about the need to increase capacity in anticipation of a possible influx of COVID-19 cases and the need for testing kits and personal protective equipment.
“Today was the epitome of a field trip for the Maui Senate delegation and our colleagues from the House,” said Sen. Baker. “We came to Maui to get an update on the effects of COVID-19 in our community and see what some of the responses our health care providers were engaged in and what additional resources they might need from us.”
“The doctors and providers within Maui County came as far as from Hāna, Lahaina, Kihei, and other areas,” said Sen. English. “What I came out of this is that Maui is incredibly prepared. Our guys are working together. I feel very safe with the doctors that we have here and the commitment that they have to make sure that our community reacts in a way that protects the health and well-being of everybody in our state.”
Sen. Keith-Agaran confirmed the feelings of the group that, overall, it was a good visit. “It’s worth saying to recognize Lt. Gov. Green in being the point person in the administration because he’s providing information by going out to see people that need to be assured that the administration knows what it’s doing in this crisis.
“It was also good to see the practical things that the hospital is already doing,” the senator added. “They set up a triage tent in front of the emergency room so, by asking some questions, can determine whether someone has COVID-19, and if they don’t, divert them to be tested somewhere else instead of coming into the hospital.”