Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu resumes nonemergency surgeries

HONOLULU — The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu has resumed non-emergency surgeries after gradually reopening clinics and other outpatient services over the past three weeks.

Surgeries resumed Wednesday at the hospital’s main operating room in Honolulu after officials reported a decrease in coronavirus cases, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

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Hawaii hospitals closed clinics, reduced outpatient services and canceled elective and non-emergency surgeries in March to make room for an expected surge in coronavirus cases.

As the number of COVID-19 cases dropped, Hawaii did not experience the anticipated peak in cases, leaving hospital beds empty and creating significant revenue losses.

The Queen’s Medical Center has since had a “steady decline” in the number of symptomatic people tested and the amount of positive coronavirus cases each week, officials said.

The Queen’s Health Systems began opening clinics and outpatient services April 27 at Queen’s-Punchbowl, Queen’s-West, and Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital, Molokai General Hospital, and the Queen’s Health Care Centers.

Hospital staff will maintain safety precautions, including screening everyone entering the facility and requiring the use of masks and hand sanitizer, officials said.

The hospital plans to provide masks for patients who do not arrive wearing them and has adjusted waiting room seating to make social distancing possible.

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The medical center also has banned visitors in hospital facilities, imaging departments and clinics. Patients with appointments can be accompanied by a single caregiver.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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