Wailuku, Maui, HI (August 6, 2021) – Maui County continues to experience an exponential increase in COVID-19 positive cases. This current surge is spreading across Hawaii and the entire country.
The positivity rate for Maui County is at 5.6%, and positive cases are up 230% from two weeks ago. The state positivity rate is at 6.9% and increasing, with the highest single day of positive cases, 655, recorded yesterday.
It is apparent that unprecedented community spread is occurring with much of the worry surrounding the Delta variant. Health care providers throughout Maui recognize the best protection against the virus is the vaccine and are stepping up to ensure all their employees and providers are vaccinated.
Kihei-Wailea Medical Center (KWMC) and Maui Medical Group (MMG) have joined Maui Health, which includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital, in mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible employees and providers.
“Our decision to mandate vaccination for all Maui Health employees was a careful, thoughtful decision,” said Mike Rembis, Maui Health CEO, “we care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and must do everything we can to ensure the safest care environment, which includes a vaccinated workforce. Our patients deserve it, and our employees, providers and their families deserve a workplace that will also keep them protected from the virus.”
As health care leaders representing the majority of health care providers on Maui, all are confident the vaccine mandate will make a difference in curbing the spread of COVID-19 and creating a safer environment for residents who access health care on Maui. “Health care providers have an ethical responsibility to lead the way in preventing avoidable harm,” said Dr. Kenneth B. Kepler, Medical Director at Kihei-Wailea Medical Center. “We need to step up and do what is necessary for our patients and community by getting vaccinated.”
Clifford Alakai, Administrator with Maui Medical Group, agreed, “vaccination is the most effective, proven path to put this pandemic behind us and we must do whatever possible to further reduce risk for our patients, their families, our employees and providers.”
All health care entities will follow their company vaccine mandate policy, which will include exemptions for a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits someone from receiving the vaccine.
These Maui healthcare providers join many hospitals and health care systems throughout the country who have implemented employee vaccine mandates, including hospitals in Hawaii. As announced earlier this week, Hawaii Pacific Health, Adventist Health Castle, Queen’s Health Systems, Kaiser Permanente (including KP Outpatient facilities), and Hale Makua have implemented a vaccine mandate.
We encourage all eligible community residents who have not yet been vaccinated to please reconsider. Join us in being part of the solution to ending this pandemic. For more information on how to receive the vaccine, please visit www.mauihealth.org/covidvaccine.
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About Maui Health
Maui Health, aka Maui Health System, community hospitals and associated clinics affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, Lanai Community Hospital and associated clinics, and serves the people of Maui and Lanai. The facilities under Maui Health employ more than 1500 Maui County residents, partner with over 460 hospital-based physicians, clinicians, and community-based primary and specialty physicians, and are open to all patients regardless of health insurance coverage. Maui Health is committed to delivering high quality, affordable, patient-centered health care and improving the health of the community. Maui Health is supported by Kaiser Permanente’s industry-leading technology systems, evidence-based medicine and nationally recognized care quality. For more information, visit mauihealth.org.