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Safe Care

Safe and Ready to Serve You

COVID-19 Testing FAQ OB FAQ

We're Here For You

Don't delay care or ignore your symptoms. Whatever your healthcare need, you are safe with us. We have always been here for you and always will be.

We're taking extra precautions to create a safe environment and ensure the health and well-being of our patients. During these unprecedented times, you'll notice some changes in how we provide care.

Keeping You Safe

Your health and safety are at the center of everything we do. We are regularly monitoring the latest guidance from the CDC and DOH and will update our policies and procedures accordingly.

Here's how Maui Health is keeping you safe:

  • COVID-19 symptom screening at the door for patients, employees, and visitors.
  • Face masks provided to everyone, regardless of symptoms.
  • Universal COVID-19 testing for all patients being admitted including ER admissions, direct admissions, and OB patients.
  • Proper PPE for all team members.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting across all patient care areas.
  • Sanitizing stations through all of our facilities.
  • Chairs in public spaces arranged to allow for social distancing.
  • Designated areas for non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 patients.
  • Visitor limitations to reduce risk to our patients and staff.

Download and print our Safe Care infographic.

Universal and Rapid COVID-19 Testing at MMMC

What is universal testing at Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC)?

Universal testing is COVID-19 testing of all patients admitted to MMMC, including through the emergency department, laboring mothers, and direct admissions, regardless of symptoms.

Why did MMMC decide to begin universal testing?

Universal testing is being done to prevent any potential exposure to patients, employees, or providers by helping to identify COVID-19 patients who may be carriers yet present with no symptoms. This also helps the hospital better manage appropriate use of PPE supplies and establish the level of care needed.

Where is the testing done?

Most testing is done in the MMMC emergency department. OB patients are tested in the Labor and Delivery unit once admitted.

How long does it take get results and where do the patient wait?

Test results are available within three hours and most patients wait in the emergency department for results. Laboring moms remain in a L&D room until test results are returned.

Is MMMC using rapid testing and how does that work?

Yes, MMMC is using rapid COVID-19 testing, also called PCR, or polymerase chain reaction testing. The rapid test involves a nasal swab from the back of the nose.

Does MMMC have enough tests, especially with visitors arriving soon?

Yes, currently MMMC is using the Luminex machine, but will be getting an even larger machine by the end of July to run upwards of 1,000 tests a day.

Are there any plans to expand testing capabilities?

Yes, MMMC will be utilizing the Panther testing machine (same machine used on Oahu) by the end of July that will significantly expand testing capabilities at the hospital.

What if you have a positive result, what happens next?

Any patient that exhibits symptoms of COVID will be immediately isolated regardless of testing status - that includes asymptomatic patients that are positive.

What are warm units?

Warm units are hospital medical units that are converted to isolation areas for any suspected positive or confirmed positive patients. MMMC always has a warm unit open and can expand to include more warm units if the needs arise.

What is antibody testing and how is it different from the PCR test?

Antibody testing is used to detect past exposure to COVID-19. It does not ensure immunity to the virus and is used primarily for research studies. It does not test for active virus activity.

Do you think universal testing will help prevent another cluster at MMMC? Why?

Absolutely and that is because we are identifying and testing patients from the time they enter the hospital and not waiting for symptoms to be present which helps to minimize risk of exposure to other patients, employees and providers.

Do you think MMMC is better prepared for an increase in COVID-19 cases? Why?

Yes, MMMC is highly prepared for any increase in COVID-19 cases. We learned a lot from our first experience with COVID and have made many changes. We are actively preparing with the continuous work done by our dedicated team of physicians and leaders through our Emergency Operations Center. We are constantly sourcing and building our supply of PPE, have increased our communication efforts and channels, instituted universal COVID testing and masking protocols, have rapid testing for patients and employees, when necessary, continue to deep clean and disinfect patient rooms and common areas, and are actively engaged and closely aligned with our Mayor, Department of Health and other state agencies to better coordinate communication and other efforts.

Are people still delaying care because of the fear of COVID?

Yes, sadly, people continue to delay care because of fear of COVID, but also because they don’t want to further burden the hospital. Please don’t delay care – we are here for you. Our hospital is safe and clean, and our team of highly trained medical professionals is ready to take care of you with compassion and aloha.

Obstetrics Care FAQs

Is it safe to have a baby at MMMC right now?

Yes, it is very safe to have your baby at MMMC now. Despite the pandemic, the hospital is safer than ever. There have been many protocols and processes put into place to protect moms and babies.

What are some of the current protocols implemented at MMMC to protect OB patients, in addition to all staff and patients?

MMMC has a hospital-wide limited visitor policy that helps protect all staff and patients from any unnecessary traffic/visitors to the hospital. There are few exceptions, including expectant moms who may have one support person. MMMC also has screening at the entrance to hospital (business hours) or ED entrance (after hours), for all employees, physicians and patients, and this includes temperature checks for mom and support person and masking for all patients and their support person. Everyone who enters the hospital must wear a mask and masks are provided at screening stations to all patients and their support person. The hospital has also started universal COVID-19 testing for all inpatients, including laboring mothers.

What is universal COVID testing? How does it protect OB patients?

Universal COVID testing is testing given to all patients admitted to MMMC. This includes those admitted through the ER, direct admissions, and laboring mothers. It’s a “catch-all” testing for all inpatients, regardless of symptoms. Universal testing helps to identify positive patients from the moment they enter our doors, even if they don’t have any symptoms, and allows us to isolate them and take other precautions to protect other patients, providers, and staff from possible exposure. If a laboring mother is suspected positive or positive for COVID-19, she will be taken to one of MMMC’s three special laboring suites for isolation from other mothers to receive specialized care for her delivery.

What are some of the new protocols implemented at MMMC specifically to protect OB patients?

First, it’s important to remember that Labor and Delivery is in a separate unit that’s isolated from other parts of the hospital. OB staff rarely visit other floors unless necessary for OB patient care which reduces exposure risk. We also provide additional screening of patient and support person before they enter the OB unit, and they are both continually monitored for symptoms throughout their stay. We have limited our visitor policy and ask that only one support person be allowed to stay with the laboring mom and that support person is screened and provided a mask upon entry. Additionally, all OB patients are COVID-19 tested before they are admitted, all OB nurses wear appropriate PPE for safe delivery, babies stay in the room with moms and we work to quickly discharge OB patients, as appropriate – usually within 24 hours after vaginal birth and 48 hours after a C-section.

Is the support person monitored for symptoms each day?

Yes, the support person is screened for symptoms and fevers each day and they are only allowed to stay with the mom and baby and not wander through the hospital. Additionally, we strongly encourage the support partner to stay at hospital for the duration of the patient’s stay. If they need to leave for any reason, they must be screened again at hospital entrance and at OB unit when they return. If they are found to have symptoms, they will not be allowed to re-enter hospital or unit.

What kind of PPE does the OB staff wear while delivering babies and is it the same for vaginal and c-section?

The delivering of a baby is considered an aerosolizing procedure, meaning it is required for the nurses and other providers to wear N95 masks, eye protection and other appropriate PPE.

Where are OB patients tested and how long does it take?

Once the OB patient arrives, they have a nasopharyngeal swab done by a nurse and that result is back usually within about three hours. If they have a scheduled c-section or induction, they’re tested through their physician’s office before being admitted.

What if an OB patient or support person is identified as Person Under Investigation (PUI)?

MMMC has a special isolated OB rooms for our OB patients who are suspected of being exposed to COVID-19. These rooms keep both mother and baby safe and are also separate from L&D rooms for non-COVID patients. If a support person is a PUI, they will not be allowed to access the hospital.

What if an expecting mom tests positive?

MMMC is prepared to help any laboring mother who happens to be COVID-positive with specialized isolation delivery and postpartum rooms. We have converted three of our postpartum rooms into COVID-safe rooms, separated from the rest of the floor, and equipped with HEPA air filters. These rooms are available for our suspected positive and positive COVID OB patients and are separate from our other non-COVID patient rooms. Full PPE would be used at all times, and not just during delivery. And only one nurse would be assigned to the room for their entire shift. We would not rotate nurses or staff into the room. If a C-section is warranted, patients will be taken to the operating room where the team is highly prepared to care for COVID patients.

How are babies protected?

The newborns are rooming in with the moms as much as possible. All of the procedures–whether it’s medication administration or baths - are done at the bedside with the mom in the room. The babies do need a hearing test before they leave the hospital and that is done in the nursery, which is only accessible by doctors and nurses to further protect any newborns in the nursery. In addition, all caregivers are always masked and wear appropriate PPE. We also do our best to discharge mom and baby home as soon as possible.

How are new moms able to connect with their friends and family with the no visitor policy?

Because of our limited visitor policy, we have fewer family and friends able to visit mom and new baby. In lieu of an in-person visit, we encourage all families and friends to engage in virtual visits. If a patient does not have a phone or device, we have a tablet device that we can provide for virtual visits. Also, it’s a good idea to keep the virtual visits going even once you get home. Limiting home visitors is a good plan to protect mom, new baby and the rest of the family from unnecessary exposure. If you do have visitors, encourage masking, hand hygiene and limit their visiting time.

Do you still offer the weekly maternity tours?

Unfortunately, the in-person virtual tours have been suspended for the health and safety of our patients and employees, but we are excited to provide a new, virtual tour! In addition, all childbirth classes are moving to a virtual platform (coming soon!). For more information and to watch the virtual tour, please visit mauihealth.org/maternity.

Without the tours, what is the best way to get in touch with someone in L&D/OB to ask questions?

Most questions can be answered by your OB doctor and their care team. However, if you have general questions, please call the main hospital number at 808-244-9056. For specific labor and delivery questions, please submit a contact form at mauihealth.org/contact.

What about the labor and delivery classes offered? What’s happening with those?

We are happy to be able to provide all child preparedness classes online, starting very soon. This will allow us to keep moms and babies safe from unnecessary exposure. Please visit mauihealth.org/maternity or mauihealth.org/events for updates, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the class information once posted.

I heard that someone that gave birth at MMMC caught COVID – is that true?

Fortunately, that is not true. To date, we don’t know of a single case linked to Maui Memorial Medical Center Labor and Delivery. In addition, all our OB nurses and other care providers have been routinely tested and all have been negative. We also have not had a positive mother in labor at MMMC.

Is it safer to have my baby at home?

Childbirth is a highly personal decision that must be made based on your situation and circumstances. The most important thing you can do is speak up and share your concerns with your doctor. Ask questions to get all the information you need and ensure the information is accurate before you make any decisions. Please know MMMC is safe, clean and prepared to take care of you and your baby. If you’re concerned, speak with your doctor, discuss your concerns, and come up with a birth plan that’s right for you and your baby.

If you have additional questions that were not answered in this FAQ, please submit them here.