Q: I see a lot of people on social media talking about PPE at Maui Memorial. Is it true that staff are not allowed to use masks from home?
The safety of our nurses, doctors and other Maui Health employees is our top priority, and we are beyond grateful for all they are doing for our community, as well as the work of healthcare personnel around the nation. We understand the fear and anxiety amongst healthcare workers and the public. These same concerns are being felt across the nation and some of this has led to improper use of PPE which has contributed to some shortages of clinical supplies, especially surgical face masks and N-95 respirators.
We have been and will continue to closely follow the evolving COVID-19 situation and make adjustments to protocols when safe and appropriate for our employees and community. On Monday, March 30, we released new hospital protocol for personal protective equipment (PPE) that allows Maui Health employees and providers to wear their own masks. Per the latest CDC infection control guidelines, our hospitals will maintain current PPE protocols per droplet and isolation precautions, where hospital-supplied PPE is required. Staff caring for non-COVID-19 patients and/or in clinical areas where masks are not required, as well as staff in non-clinical areas, may use their own masks if they choose to, at their own discretion and risk. Additionally, homemade masks that have been donated by the community will be made available for clinician and staff usage, while these supplies last.
We want to assure the public that we are closely following federal and local guidelines for the care of our employees and patients, and monitoring protective equipment supply levels.
We ask for the community’s help to minimize the spread of inaccurate information that could cause alarm, fear and confusion in our community. We also want to thank everyone that has reached out with questions and offers of assistance. We have received an outpouring of support for our employees and all the people in Maui County who have dedicated their lives to caring for our friends and neighbors.
If you have PPE supplies, including handmade masks, that you’d like to donate to Maui Health, please visit mauihealth.org/covidrelief. There are a few different ways you can contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts. Thank you again, for your support!
Mike Rembis, CEO